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Report sheds some light on underwater mortgages in South Carolina

The real estate tracking firm RealtyTrac recently released a report examining the number of homeowners here in the U.S. who are underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth. While the numbers are somewhat concerning at first glance, the report indicates that they nevertheless appear be moving in the right direction.

Breaking the numbers down, the report found the following on the national level:

  • 10.7 million homes -- or 23 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage -- can currently be described as "deeply underwater," in that these homeowners owe at least 25 percent or more than their homes are actually worth
  • 8.3 million homes -- or 18 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage -- can currently be described as "about to resurface," in that 3.7 million homeowners have -10 to 0 percent equity, while 4.5 million homeowners have 1 to 10 percent equity
  • 126,000 of the roughly 532,000 homes currently in the process of being foreclosed upon in the U.S. have positive equity, meaning these homeowners don't necessarily have to resort to a short sale

"[T]he 8.3 million homeowners on the fence with little or no equity are on track to regain enough equity to sell before 2015 if home prices continue to increase ...," said RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist. "Even homeowners deeply underwater have reason for hope, with about 150,000 each month rising past the 25 percent negative-equity milestone."

Closer to home, the RealtyTrac report found the following numbers here in South Carolina:

  • 115,000 homes -- or 18 percent of all homeowners in the state -- can currently be described as "deeply underwater" 
  • 150,000 homes -- or 24 percent of all homeowners in the state -- can currently be described as "about to resurface" 
  • 92,000 homes -- or 15 percent of all homeowners in the state -- can currently be described as "equity rich," meaning they have at least 50 percent equity in their homes 
  • 35 percent of homeowners in the state who are currently in the process of being foreclosed upon have positive equity

If you would like to learn more about foreclosure, short sales or residential real estate transactions, consider contacting an experienced attorney who can answer your questions and help point you in the right direction.

Source: GSA Business, "18% of S.C. homeowners owe more on mortgage than house's value," Liz Segrist, September 5, 2013

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