Higher home prices are slowly reducing the number of underwater mortgages across Broward and Palm Beach counties.
A third of the 333,521 Broward homes with a mortgage are worth less than what’s owed, down from 44 percent a year ago, according to second quarter data from real estate websiteZillow.com. In Palm Beach County, 32 percent of the 249,941 mortgaged properties are underwater, compared with 41 percent in the second quarter of 2012.
Even with a vastly improved housing market, so-called negative equity will remain a factor for years in many areas hit hard by the housing collapse, said Stan Humphries, chief economist for Seattle-based Zillow.
“For those homeowners who are deeply underwater ... there is still a long row to hoe,” he said in a statement.
Most of those homeowners bought or refinanced in 2004, 2005 or 2006, at or near the peak of the housing boom. They're stuck in their homes, unable to sell without bringing thousands of dollars to the closing table.
by Paul Owers