September 5, 2013
Homeowners in Ohio and other Midwestern states are struggling to regain equity in their homes while some of the boom-and-bust states such as California recover.
A new report by the real-estate service RealtyTrac shows that more than 30 percent of mortgaged homeowners in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois owe considerably more than their home is worth, compared with 23 percent of homeowners nationwide.
In Ohio, 31 percent of homeowners with loans owe at least 125 percent more than their estimated home value, RealtyTrac said. In central Ohio, the figure is 27 percent.
In all, RealtyTrac estimates that 10.7 million homeowners, or 23 percent of those with mortgages, are “deeply underwater,” down from 11.3 million in May and 12.5 million last September.
“Steadily rising home prices are lifting all boats in this housing market,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said in a news release.
“Homeowners who already have ample equity are quickly building on that equity,” Blomquist added. “Even homeowners deeply underwater have reason for hope ... although it will certainly take years rather than months before most of those homeowners have enough equity to sell other than via short sale.”
Homeowner equity is gradually growing in Ohio as the housing market recovers, but not as quickly as in some states that crashed more precipitously.
In California, where prices plummeted during the recession, only
20 percent of mortgaged homeowners are still deeply underwater. In Arizona, the figure has dropped to 27 percent as that state’s housing rebounds.
Only in Florida and Nevada, the other two states rocked by the housing recession, are more homeowners underwater than in the worst of the Midwestern states.
In five states — Alaska, Maine, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming — fewer than 10 percent of mortgaged homeowners are deeply underwater.