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LATEST CORELOGIC ECON TWEETS

One Million Borrowers Regain Mortgage Equity in 2015

Negative Equity Remains Low in Oil-Patch Areas

Molly Boesel    |    Property Valuation

  • The negative equity share fell to 8.5 percent in Q4 2015 from 10.7 percent in Q4 2014.
  • Only North Dakota saw an increase in negative equity in 2015, but the increase was minimal.  
  • Negative equity remains low in the oil-patch areas.

The nationwide negative equity share decreased in 2015, falling from 10.7 percent in Q4 2014 to 8.5 percent in Q4 2015. The number of underwater loans (or those in negative equity) fell by about 1 million loans, from 5.3 million in Q4 2014 to 4.3 million in Q4 2015, according to the latest CoreLogic Equity Report. The total dollar amount of negative equity, which applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, fell to $311 billion in Q4 2015, down by $37.4 billion from Q4 2014.

Year over year, only North Dakota registered an increase in the negative equity share in Q4 2015, but the increase was minimal (0.2 percentage points). Figure 1 illustrates the 25 states with the largest percentage-point change in the negative equity share from the previous year. Florida’s 5.6-percentage-point decrease between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015 represented the largest decline.

Average Amount of Negative Equity

Average Amount of Negative Equity

Figure 2 shows the average dollar amount of negative equity and the negative equity share for 10 large Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) for Q4 2015. The average amount of negative equity is inversely related to the negative equity share. For example, San Francisco has the largest average amount of negative equity, but the negative equity share is less than 1 percent, and Miami and Las Vegas have the smallest average amount of negative equity, but both have negative equity shares of more than 20 percent.

Negative Equity Share

Negative Equity Share

Figure 3 shows the negative equity and under-equity (less than 20 percent equity) shares in select oil-patch areas for Q4 2014 and Q4 2015. Negative equity remains low in these areas, with the Texas metropolitan areas all having negative equity shares under 2 percent and lower than a year earlier. The under-equity share was highest in Oklahoma, where it increased slightly year over year. The under-equity share also rose year over year in the Midland and Odessa metro areas in Texas.

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