Underwater owners regain equity slowly but surely

IRVINE, Calif. – Aug. 11, 2016 – ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q2 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report, which shows 11.9 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage at the end of second quarter 2016 were seriously underwater – a drop from 13.3 percent in Q2 2015.

No Florida city made ATTOM’s list of the U.S. seriously underwater cities, though a few have more than 15 percent of owners with a mortgage still underwater. They include Orlando (19.1 percent underwater), Tampa-St. Petersburg (17.8 percent) and Miami (17.3 percent).

“South Florida continues to see an equity improvement greater than the national average due to our strong growth,” says Mike Pappas, CEO and president at the Keyes Company. “Our underwater homes saw a 3-times improvement over the average with the high equity owners experiencing a 1.8-times improvement. With our limited land and strong in-migration, we will continue to see improvement in equity.”

For the report, ATTOM analyzed recorded mortgage and deed of trust data from more than 1,400 U.S. counties accounting for 88 percent of the U.S. population along with automated valuation models (AVMs) for more than 56 million properties with mortgages in those counties.

“Rising home prices are lifting all home equity boats: bailing out seriously underwater homeowners and enriching homeowners who already have positive equity,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions (the new parent company of RealtyTrac). “Nationwide home prices reached a new all-time high in June on the heels of 52 consecutive months of annual increases. While that national trend is consistent in most markets across the country, there are still some local markets and sub-markets that have been largely left behind by the housing recovery and which still have a high percentage of underwater homeowners.”

The number of seriously underwater U.S. properties (those with a loan-to-value ratio or LTV of 125 percent or more) decreased by 37,235 compared to the first quarter and decreased by 776,958 compared to a year ago. Since the peak of 12.8 million in Q2 2012, the number of seriously underwater properties has decreased by more than 6.1 million.

About 22.1 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage at the end of Q2 2016 were equity rich (LTV of 50 percent or less – up from 22.0 percent in the previous quarter and 19.6 percent in Q2 2015. The number of equity rich properties increased by more than 1.4 million compared to a year ago.

Profile of seriously underwater properties

ATTOM matched home equity data against property and ownership characteristic data – including occupancy status, market value, property tax rate, ownership description and congressional district – to provide a profile of the who, what, when, where and why for seriously underwater properties:

  • Property value: 34.4 percent of properties with an estimated market value up to $100,000 are seriously underwater compared to just 4.9 percent of properties with an estimated market value above $750,000.
  • Loan vintage: 26.4 percent of properties with a loan originated between 2004 and 2008 are seriously underwater compared to 8.3 percent with a loan originated since 2009.
  • Occupancy status: 21.8 percent of non-owner occupied properties are seriously underwater compared to 9.1 percent of occupied properties.
  • Ownership type: 43.5 percent of properties owned by a Company/Corporation/Incorporated owner are seriously underwater compared to 10.1 percent of properties owned by a husband and wife.
  • Property tax rate: 21.4 percent of properties with an effective property tax rate above 2 percent of market value are seriously underwater, compared to 11.8 percent of properties with an effective property tax rate below 1 percent.
  • Political party: 13.1 percent of properties located in a congressional district with a Democrat representative are seriously underwater compared to 10.8 percent seriously underwater in a congressional district with a Republican representative.

© 2016 Florida Realtors®

Average U.S. 30-year mortgage rate ticks up to 3.45%

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.45 percent from 3.43 percent last week. The average rate is down sharply from 3.94 percent a year ago, and remains close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The 15-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 2.76 percent from 2.74 percent last week.

Record-low interest rates this year have helped spur home purchases and boost the housing market.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage remained at 0.5 point this week. The fee for a 15-year loan also was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages averaged 2.74 percent, up from 2.73 percent last week. The fee held at 0.5 point.

Fla. housing’s median prices, new listings up in 2Q

ORLANDO, Fla. – Aug. 10, 2016 – Florida’s housing market reported more new listings, higher median prices and fewer days to a sales contract during the second quarter of 2016, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 76,748 in 2Q 2016, up 1.4 percent over the 2Q 2015 figure.

“In the second quarter of 2016, Florida continued to add new jobs, which attracts new residents, encourages economic growth and strengthens the housing market,” says2016 Florida Realtors President Matey H. Veissi, broker and co-owner of Veissi & Associates in Miami. “Traditional housing sales increased statewide over the three-month period, while sales of distressed properties continued to decline. In another positive sign, new listings for single-family homes over the three-month-period rose 2.9 percent year-over-year, while new condo-townhouse listings rose 3.3 percent.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in 2Q 2016 was $220,000, up 10 percent from the same time a year ago, according to data from Florida Realtors research department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for condo-townhouse properties during the quarter was $163,000, up 5.2 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market, statewide closed sales totaled 31,699 during 2Q 2016, down 2.7 percent compared to 2Q 2015. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales – and rising traditional sales – over the three-month period: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 42.2 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 36.7 percent. Meanwhile, traditional sales for condo-townhouse units rose 6.9 percent and traditional sales for single-family homes increased 14.4 percent year-over-year. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“Existing home sale prices throughout most of Florida’s metro areas are continuing to exhibit robust year-over-year growth,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. “This growth is attributable to simple economics, which is to say that demand is strong and supply is currently limited. The inventory of homes for sale at the more affordable end of the price spectrum – which includes the vast majority of distressed properties – continues to decline significantly, and new construction has not come close to making up the difference.”

In 2Q 2016, the median time to a contract (the midpoint of the number of days it took for a property to receive a sales contract during that time) was 42 days for single-family homes and 50 days for condo-townhouse properties.

Inventory was at a 4.3-months’ supply in the second quarter for single-family homes and at a 6-months’ supply for condo-townhouse properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.59 percent for 2Q 2016, significantly lower than the 3.96 percent average recorded during the same quarter a year earlier.