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The latest data from CoreLogic shows a slight increase in the number of Houston homes that have "underwater" loans, which may lead to more foreclosures and make it harder for those homeowners to refinance.
The report says that 12 percent of homeowners in the local area, or just over 113,000 homes, have loan balances higher than their property's value. That number represents a very slight jump from the previous quarter, but is more than 3,000 below numbers from the first quarter.
Still, the local numbers are still far better than those seen in other areas around the country. The national rate of negative equity is 22.5 percent, down from 23 percent, with many underwater loans concentrated in Nevada, Arizona and Florida.
"The good news is that negative equity is slowly declining, but the bad news is that price declines are accelerating, which may put a stop to or reverse the recent improvement in negative equity," said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.
Continuing high levels of negative equity could lead to additional Houston foreclosures in the coming months. A recent survey conducted for RealtyTrac and Trulia found that 48 percent of mortgage holders would think about walking away from their homes if they were underwater.
Price-reduced homes remain widespread nationwideA report from California-based ZipRealty finds homesellers in many parts of the country continue to cut their asking prices, providing affordable options for those looking to buy Houston homes.April 27th, 2011 11:00am
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