New CoreLogic Data Shows Second Consecutive Quarterly Decline in Negative Equity

Real Estate Industry and Trade Media

Bill Campbell
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Lori Guyton
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August 26, 2010, Santa Ana, Calif. –

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information and business services, today released negative equity data showing a second consecutive quarterly decline in national negative equity rates. CoreLogic reports that 11 million, or 23 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of the second quarter of 2010, down from 11.2 million and 24 percent from the first quarter of 2010. Foreclosures, rather than meaningful price appreciation, were the primary driver in the change in negative equity. An additional 2.4 million borrowers had less than five percent equity. Together, negative equity and near-negative equity mortgages accounted for nearly 28 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide.

Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.

Data Highlights

  • Negative equity remains concentrated in five states: Nevada, which had the highest percentage negative equity with 68 percent of all of its mortgaged properties underwater, followed by Arizona (50 percent), Florida (46 percent), Michigan (38 percent) and California (33 percent).
  • The biggest declines in negative equity were concentrated in the hardest hit states. Nevada experienced an 11.8 percentage point decline in negative equity share, followed by California (-1.3), Florida (-1.3), and Arizona (-1.3). About two-thirds of all states experienced a decline in negative equity share. Since peaking in Q4 2009, the number of borrowers in a negative equity position has declined by about 350,000.
  • The declines were primarily due to foreclosures, not the stabilization or small increases in prices in some markets. The largest decrease in negative equity occurred among those with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios in excess of 125 percent, where the number of negative equity borrowers fell to 4.8 million, down from 5 million last quarter.
  • Homes with more equity are appreciating faster than underwater homes. The average values of properties with 50 percent or more equity increased over 1 percent between Q4 2009 and Q2 2010. Properties with 25 to 50 percent in equity increased an average of 0.2 percent in that period. However, values fell for every segment in negative equity, with the biggest value decline occurring for properties that are 50 percent or more in negative equity.
  • In addition to driving foreclosures, negative equity reduces homeowner mobility. Since the peak in home sales in 2005, non-distressed sales have dramatically declined and there is a clear relationship between the decline in non-distressed sales and the level of negative equity at the zip code and state level. At low levels of negative equity there are moderate and varied declines in non-distressed sales across most states as it reflects state macroeconomic fundamentals. At higher levels of negative equity, the non-distressed declines have been much larger, which implies that that the 11 million negative equity properties have reduced homeowners ability to move.
  • The 11 million negative equity properties are backed by $2.9 trillion in mortgage debt outstanding (MDO). On an MDO dollar basis, the negative equity share was 33 percent percent and the total dollar value of negative equity was $766 billion.

"Negative equity continues to both drive foreclosures and impede the housing market recovery. With nearly 5 million borrowers currently in severe negative equity, defaults will remain at a high level for an extended period of time," said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

The full press release, with charts and state-level data, is available at.

Press Release - Q2 2010 Negative Equity

Methodology:
CoreLogic data includes 47 million properties with a mortgage, which accounts for over 85 percent of all mortgages in the U.S.** CoreLogic used its public record data as the source of the mortgage debt outstanding (MDO) and it includes 1st mortgage liens and junior mortgage liens and is adjusted for amortization and home equity utilization in order to capture the true level of mortgage debt outstanding for each property. The current value was estimated by using the CoreLogic Automated Valuation Models (AVM) for residential properties. The data was filtered to include only properties valued between $30,000 and $30 million because AVM accuracy tends to quickly worsen outside of this value range.

The amount of equity for each property was determined by subtracting the property’s estimated current value from the mortgage debt outstanding. If the mortgage debt was greater than the estimated value, then the property is in a negative equity position. The data was created at the property level and aggregated to higher levels of geography.

** Only data for mortgaged residential properties that have an AVM value is presented. There are several states where the public record, AVM or mortgage coverage is thin. Although coverage is thin, these states account for fewer than 5 percent of the total population of the U.S.

Source: CoreLogic.
The data provided is for use only by the primary recipient or the primary recipient's publication or broadcast. This data may not be re-sold, republished or licensed to any other source, including publications and sources owned by the primary recipient's parent company without prior written permission from CoreLogic. Any CoreLogic data used for publication or broadcast, in whole or in part, must be sourced as coming from CoreLogic, a real estate data and analytics company. For use with broadcast or web content, the citation must directly accompany first reference of the data. If the data is illustrated wtih maps, charts, graphs or other visual elements, the CoreLogic logo must be included on screen or web site. For questions, analysis or interpretation of the data contact Lori Guyton at lguyton@cvic.com or Bill Campbell at bill@campbelllewis.com. Data provided may not be modified without the prior written permission of CoreLogic. Do not use the data in any unlawful manner. This data is compiled from public records, contributory databases and proprietary analytics, and its accuracy is dependent upon these sources.

About CoreLogic
CoreLogic is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built the largest and most comprehensive U.S. real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determination, and geospatial analytics and services. More than one million users rely on CoreLogic to assess risk, support underwriting, investment and marketing decisions, prevent fraud, and improve business performance in their daily operations. Formerly, the information solutions group of The First American Corporation, CoreLogic began trading under the ticker CLGX on the NYSE on June 2, 2010. The company, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has more than 10,000 employees globally with 2009 revenues of $2 billion. For more information visit www.corelogic.com.

CoreLogic is a registered trademark of CoreLogic, Inc.