The following is by Les Masterson of Patch
The second quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report showed that U.S. homeowners who are underwater (home valued at less than mortgage) are decreasing, but there are still millions with no equity in their homes.
About 12.2 million U.S. homeowners with a mortgage were in negative equity, or underwater, in the second quarter of 2013. That’s an improvement from 13 million in the first quarter and 15.3 million from a year ago. Approximately one-third of American homes are owned without a mortgage, reported Zillow.
Fifty-seven percent of homeowners across the country in negative equity are underwater by 20 percent or more and about 13 percent owes more than twice what their home is worth, said Zillow.
In Norfolk County, the percentage is 12-percent with eight-percent of them being delinquent.
The breakdown by towns are:
Norfolk-9-percent with five-percent delinquent.
Plainville-14-percent with eight-percent delinquent.
Wrentham-12-percent with 11-percent delinquent.
The Boston metropolitan area has lower underwater rates than the rest of the nation, however. Boston has one of the lowest metro percentages (15 percent), which is much better than the three worst: Las Vegas (48 percent), Atlanta (44 percent) and Orlando (40 percent).
"Widespread rising home values during the past year have helped chip away at negative equity nationwide, helping many homeowners who were only modestly underwater to come up for air. For those homeowners who are deeply underwater, though, there is still a long row to hoe," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.
"The frustratingly slow pace of negative equity declines in the face of such robust home value appreciation is a direct result of the fact that many people in the hardest-hit markets are underwater by an enormous amount. Because of this, negative equity will be a factor in these markets for years to come, constraining the supply of homes for sale and keeping people out of the market who might otherwise get involved,” he said.