Fewer borrowers nationwide owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, providing a boost to the housing recovery, according to a new report.
Roughly 200,000 borrowers escaped their “negative equity” positions during the final three months of last year, said real estate data provider CoreLogic. During all of last year, 1.7 million residential properties moved from negative to positive equity.
Overall, the nation’s negative equity fell from $670 billion in the third quarter to $628 billion at the end of last year, CoreLogic of Irvine said Tuesday.
A shortage of houses on the market has pushed up home prices in many markets, including California. But the supply could increase, cooling price increases, if more homeowners escape negative equity positions and regain the option of selling.