Cindi Andrews reports:
One in four homeowners in Greater Cincinnati – nearly 111,400 families – still owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth, new data reported Wednesday by CoreLogic shows.
The upside: The 25.2 percent of homeowners who were “under water” in the second quarter this year represents the second straight quarter the percentage has dropped.
The number of underwater homeowners in the 15-county Tristate area peaked at 26.8 percent six months ago. Nationally, 23.7 percent of homeowners owe more than their properties are worth.
Rising property values may be helping the numbers fall. A recent report by the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors said the average sale price in Southwest Ohio in the first seven months of 2012 was 2.5 percent higher than the same period in 2011.
Rising sale prices translate into fewer homeowners under water because a property’s value is based on recent comparative sales, said Marianne Collins, executive director of the Ohio Mortgage Brokers Association.
“It looks like prices are beginning to stabilize and a lot of the shadow foreclosure inventory has gone,” Collins said. “It looks like we’re getting past the problem.”
Nearly 20 percent of Greater Cincinnati homeowners were under water when CoreLogic, a national analytics firm, began tracking the statistic in the third quarter of 2009.
“If you go back 10 years, you hardly ever heard of an underwater homeowner because the market was going up,” Collins said. “Those people who are under water for the most part are those who bought at the peak of the market.”
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