Scant number of Texas homes in negative equity

Few Texas-area homes were in negative equity last year, especially in the third quarter.When it comes to percentages and how many properties were underwater in the U.S. last year, Houston homes were on the good list.According to a new report released by analytics and services firm CoreLogic, between 0 and 7 percent of homes in the Houston area were in negative equity in the third quarter of last year, which means that the mortgages on these properties were more than the actual homes’ worth.The same can’t be said for other parts of the country, however. The California-based real estate company says Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgages that were underwater in 2012’s penultimate quarter at nearly 57 percent, followed by Florida at 42 percent, Arizona at 38 percent, Georgia at 35 percent and Michigan at 32 percent.Overall, upside down mortgages retreated between July and September of last year in the nation at large. Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, noted that 100,000 additional borrowers reached positive equity in the three-month period, bringing the total number of borrowers in this favorable condition to 1.4 million through the first nine months of 2012.”Through the third quarter, the number of underwater borrowers declined significantly,” said Fleming. “The substantive gain in house prices made in 2012, partly due to tight inventory caused by negative equity’s lock-out effect, has paradoxically alleviated some of the pain.”Strong home values may have played into the high rate of property purchases in Houston last month. The Houston Association of Realtors reports home prices in December averaged $243,800 – an 11 percent rise from 12 months ago.
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