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06/05/2014

Fewer Fort Worth-Arlington mortgage holders underwater, CoreLogic says

The percentage of FortWorth-Arlington residential properties with a mortgage that is underwater in the first quarter dropped to  3.3 percent from 4.3 percent in the same time period a year ago, according to CoreLogic.

Locally, that means 13,028 residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity by March 31. Last year, the number was 16,704 properties, said CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.

In addition, 1.7 percent, or 6,554 residential properties, was in near negative equity in the first quarter, compared to 2.4 percent, or 9,120 in the fourth quarter of 2013, CoreLogic said. 

Nationwide, CoreLogic found that about 6.3 million homes, or 12.7 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were still in negative equity as of March 31, compared to 9.8 million homes, or  20.2 percent, a year ago.

Negative equity occurs when borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.

"Despite the massive improvement in prices and reduction in negative equity over the last few years, many borrowers still lack sufficient equity to move and purchase a home," said Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s deputy chief economist, in a statement. "One in five borrowers have less than 10 percent equity in their property, which is not enough to cover the down payment and additional costs associated with a conventional mortgage."

_ Sandra Baker

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