The abrupt turnaround in Orange County home prices rescued more than 64,000 “underwater” homeowners from a flood of red ink this past spring.
CoreLogic reported that 36,615 Orange County homes were under water – that is, owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth – by the end of June.
That’s down 36 percent from the same period in 2012 – and down nearly 70 percent from the end of 2011, when one in five O.C. homes with a mortgage was under water, figures from the Irvine-based housing data firm show.
Orange County home prices increased nearly 22 percent in the 12 months ending in June, CoreLogic reported, helping to push the bulk of underwater homes back above water.
“Price appreciation obviously had a positive impact on home equity over the first half of 2013,” said Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic’s president and CEO.
Specifically, CoreLogic reported:
- That 6.7 percent of O.C. homes with a mortgage were under water in the second quarter of 2013. By comparison, 18.2 percent of mortgaged homes were under water in the second quarter of 2012.
- Rising home values pushed 64,055 households above water in the year ending last spring. Of those, 23,230 homes rose above water from the first to second quarters of the year.
- In addition, 11,773 Orange County homes had “near-negative equity” – that is, too little value above their mortgage balance to sell without a loss after commissions and closing costs. Still, that’s down 9,691 homes in a year, or 54.8 percent.
- In all, fewer than 9 percent of O.C. homes were under water or had too little equity to sell without a loss, compared with 22 percent a year earlier.
The number of Orange County homes that are under water was well below the national and state averages.
CoreLogic reported that 14.5 percent of mortgaged U.S. homes were under water in the second quarter, representing 7.1 million households. About 2.5 million U.S. households rose above water from the first to the second quarters.
California had just over 1 million underwater homes in the second quarter, or 15.4 percent of mortgaged households. About 401,000 California households rose above water from the first to the second quarters.