More homeowners have enough equity to sell

RealtyTrac today released its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for September 2013.

While 10.7 million residential homeowners nationwide owe at least 25 percent or more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, another 8.3 million homeowners are now only slightly underwater or slightly above water, putting them on track to have enough equity to sell sometime in the next 15 months without resorting to a short sale.

The 8.3 million include homeowners that have a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio from 90 to 110 percent, meaning they have between 10 percent positive equity and 10 percent negative equity. These homeowners represented 18 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage as of the beginning of September.


In Florida, RealtyTrac reports that 40 percent of homeowners with a mortgage (2,075,484) were “deeply underwater” with a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 125 percent or higher. The state ranked third nationally, behind Nevada (46 percent) and Illinois (40 percent). Michigan (38 percent), Rhode Island (34 percent) and Ohio (31 percent) rounded out the top six.

However, 13 percent of Floridians with a mortgage (703,474) were “resurfacing,” according to RealtyTrac and now have, or will soon have, equity. In addition, 12 percent of Florida homeowners are “equity rich” with an LTV of 50 percent or lower.

RealtyTrac also reports that 15 percent of Floridians currently going through foreclosure have equity in their homes.

“Steadily rising home prices are lifting all boats in this housing market and should spill over into more inventory of homes for sale in the coming months,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Homeowners who already have ample equity are quickly building on that equity, while the 8.3 million homeowners on the fence with little or no equity are on track to regain enough equity to sell before 2015 if home prices continue to increase at the rate of 1.33 percent per month that they have since bottoming out in March 2012.”

Other report findings

• More than 126,000 properties in the foreclosure process nationwide had an LTV of 100 percent or lower in September – 24 percent of all homes in the foreclosure process. States with the highest percentage of foreclosures with equity included Oklahoma (54 percent), Hawaii (51 percent), New York (47 percent), and Texas (46 percent).

• Metro markets with the highest percentage of homes with resurfacing equity (LTV from 90 to 110 percent) included Omaha, Neb., (29 percent), Colorado Springs, Colo., (29 percent), Tulsa, Okla., (29 percent), Little Rock, Ark., (28 percent), and Raleigh, N.C. (28 percent).

• Nationwide 7.4 million homeowners with a mortgage had 50 percent equity or more – 16 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage. Metro markets with the highest percentage of homeowners with at least 50 percent equity included Honolulu (36 percent), San Jose, Calif., (35 percent), Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (30 percent), Pittsburgh (29 percent), San Francisco (29 percent), and New York (27 percent).

© 2013 Florida Realtors®  IRVINE, Calif. – Sept. 5, 2013