Underwater mortgages drop in South Florida

Thursday Mar 30th, 2017


Thanks to steadily increasing home prices, fewer South Florida owners are weighed down by “underwater” mortgages, two recent reports show.

At the end of last year, 30,442 Palm Beach County homeowners with a mortgage, or 10.6 percent, owed more than the property is worth, down from 41,046 people, or 14.2 percent in the same period of 2015, according to the CoreLogic research firm.

In Broward County, 46,443 homeowners, or 12.6 percent, were under water, compared with 63,782, or 17.2 percent.

Miami-Dade County had 70,696, or 16.1 percent, a drop from 92,721, or 21 percent.

The figures are a big improvement from late 2011, when close to half of all homes with a mortgage in South Florida were underwater.

Zillow also showed a decline in underwater mortgages in the tri-county region, though the Seattle-based website said so-called negative equity still will affect millions of homeowners nationwide in the coming years.

“Accelerating home value appreciation over the past few months was a blessing to owners who have been underwater since the housing bubble burst, but not all underwater owners were able to ride that wave to positive equity,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, said in a statement. “We are in for many more years of elevated levels of negative equity. Even as median home values close in on peak levels reached during the housing boom, some people still face a long wait before returning to a positive balance on their home loans.”


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