Underwater Homeowners Can See Sunlight in 2014
The trend is this: More and more Americans are seeing the value of their homes rise, which further stabilizes the housing market and gives Americans more confidence in their personal financial situations.
The supporting data come from RealtyTrac. It reports that only 9.3 million U.S. homes were "deeply underwater" at the end of 2013, down from 10.7 million in September. In percentage terms, only 19% of all U.S. homes were underwater in December, compared with 23% last September. (RealtyTrac defines "deeply underwater" as properties with loan to value ratios of 125% or above, meaning the homeowner owed at least 25% more than the estimated market value of the property.)
Those numbers were also way down from the underwater peak of 12.8 million homes in May 2012. That suggests the housing market is on an upward swing heading into 2014, and significantly so."During the housing downturn we saw a downward spiral of falling home prices resulting in rising negative equity, which in turn put millions of homeowners at higher risk for foreclosure when they encountered a trigger event such as job loss," says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "Now we are seeing the reverse trend: rising home prices resulting in falling negative equity, which in turn is giving millions of homeowners a lifeline to avoid foreclosure when they encounter a trigger event." That scenario should help the real estate sector gain more momentum this year, as RealtyTrac points out that fewer underwater mortgages translates into a "shot in the arm" for the housing market in 2014.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV