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Published: Tuesday, 9/10/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

2nd report: Fewer area homes underwater

Toledo-area figure has fallen from 29 percent in the first quarter


The percentage of Toledo-area residential properties that are “under water” is dropping, according to a California real estate data company.

According to CoreLogic, 23 percent of metro Toledo residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity in 2013’s second quarter. That means the borrowers owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth.

The Toledo-area figure has fallen from 29 percent in the first quarter, CoreLogic said.

The data appear to differ greatly from a report issued last week by another company, RealtyTrac.

That study maintained 37 percent of Toledo-area borrowers were “seriously underwater,” meaning they owed at least 25 percent more on their mortgages than the properties were worth.

Nationally, CoreLogic said, about 2.5 million homes swung to positive equity in the second quarter as home prices rose.

At the end of the second quarter, 14.5 percent of all mortgaged residential properties had negative equity, compared with 19.7 percent at the end of the first quarter.

But the news wasn’t all good. Millions of underwater homes still exist— about 7.1 million at the end of the second quarter. And more than 10 million other homes have slim equity levels, meaning it would be difficult for borrowers to qualify to refinance and thus make their homes more affordable.

Overall, the report paints a picture of a national housing market seeing a lopsided recovery. For one, higher-value homes are more likely to have equity.

Also, certain areas continue to be much worse off than others. Just five states — Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, and Georgia — account for 35 percent of all U.S. negative equity in the second quarter. Among those five states, Nevada is having the toughest time: 36 percent of all mortgaged homes there had negative equity.

Looking forward, there are signs that rapidly rising home prices are starting to moderate, a trend that means homeowners’ gains in equity also will slow down.

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