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Rising Prices Shrink Ranks of Underwater Borrowers

Posted by Bonnie Martin Designated Broker on Thursday, February 21st, 2013 at 8:18am. - Rising home prices have helped lift more Americans out from being underwater—that is, owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth. But trying to quantify just how many borrowers are moving back above water is producing a wide range of estimates.

Zillow said in a new report Thursday that around 2 million homeowners moved back above water last year. The online real-estate company estimated that 13.8 million borrowers were underwater at the end of the year, down from 15.7 million a year earlier, a decline of around 12%. U.S. home prices rose by 5.9% last year, though bigger price gains in some of the hardest hit housing markets had an outsized impact on returning borrowers in those regions to positive equity.

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