The RealtyTrac U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report for the third quarter of 2014 released recently shows there were fewer Metro Atlanta underwater properties. 8.1 million U.S. residential properties were still seriously underwater—where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property's estimated market value—representing 15 percent of all properties with a mortgage and an estimated $1.4 trillion in negative equity.
The third quarter negative equity numbers showing Metro Atlanta underwater properties were down to the lowest level since RealtyTrac began reporting negative equity in the first quarter of 2012.
In the previous quarter nationwide, 9.1 million residential properties representing 17 percent of all properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater, and in the third quarter of 2013, 10.7 million residential properties representing 23 percent of all properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater.
The recent peak in negative equity was in the second quarter of 2012, when 12.8 million U.S. residential properties representing 29 percent of all properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater.
The decrease in Metro Atlanta underwater properties is promising but the estimated $1.4 trillion in negative equity nationwide means that the flood waters are not receding as quickly across the country as they were before, even though Metro Atlanta underwater properties are down slightly, corresponding to slowing home price appreciation. Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac said, "slower price appreciation means the 8 million homeowners seriously underwater could still have a long road back to positive equity."
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