The countdown has begun. No, not the New Years’ Eve countdown!
The countdown to retuning to a normal level of positive equity. Even in the best of times, a certain number of homeowners are going to pay too much for a house and it might take a few years until their principle payments and appreciation put them in a positive equity position.
The last year the market looked something like that was 2004. The bubble was growing in places like California, Las Vegas and Florida but in most places inventory was keeping up with demand and multiple bids sales were still the exception rather than the norm.
Best of all, only 2.2 percent of homeowners were underwater.
All that changed with the housing crash, and plunging values put million at risk and 5 million or more lost their homes. More than a decade has passed since that last year of normalcy and we are extraordinarily close to returning to where we were in 2014.
Corelogic reports that through the third quarter of 2015 only 46.3 million or 92 percent of all mortgaged properties are now above water. That means we are only 5.4 percentage points above the level of 2084. With prices expected to rise 5 percent next year the number of underwater homes is expected to decline by anther 800,000., we’ll reach 47.1 million homes above water, leaving is 3.3 million homes short, or 6.5 percent of all homes with a mortgage.