real estate Fewer U.S. mortgages are now classified as underwater -- where the home is worth less than the amount owed on the loan -- driven by a greater number of foreclosures, a new report shows.

The percentage of single-family homes with negative equity mortgages fell to 21.5% in the second quarter, from 23.3% in the first quarter, according to the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.

"While fewer homeowners were underwater in the second quarter than the first, it is not yet time to break out the champagne bottle," Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist, told Reuters in an interview.

"While some of the downward pressure on negative equity is coming from stabilization in home value trends, the larger factor is the enormous volume of foreclosures occurring within the stock of homes in negative equity," Humphries said.

Home values fell 3.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier. It was the 14tth quarter in a row to post an annual decline in prices, Reuters said. Home values fell in 99 of the 144 metropolitan statistical areas tracked by Zillow.

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w.jerico

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July 28 2013 at 6:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bobhamilton36

Fewer underwater mortgages, hmmm, imagine if we add foreclosures to that number. Here's a wild thought suppose Uncle Sugar instead of giving billions to mortgage lenders he paid off peoples mortgages up to 1 million $USD. How many people would have upgraded their homes, stimulating the economy. How many would have purchased a new car or second, stimulating the economy. Plus mortgages lenders would have received a just payment. These comments are just me thinking out loud!

August 13 2010 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jean

Companies like Zillow is part of the problem. People expect this company based across the country to give them an accurate assessment of the value of their home in a completely different city and area and what they do is give people a general idea. Home appraisals are serious business. Companies should not be allowed to provide an appraisal for a lender if they are not based in that area. This has been the problem with the real estate market and continues to be a problem. The appraisal and even a comp must be accurate for people to know the true value of their property and to recieve a mortgage based on the true value of the property is important so that homes are not over valued. The reverse has happened now, properties are being undervalued due to foreclosures and short sales and it has once again created an inaccurate picture of the real estate market

August 09 2010 at 2:22 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
drhom

Is this like saying their are fewer boats taking on water since we no longer have to count the boats sunk on the bottom? Not very good news at all. If this the best spin they can put on the latest economic news, we are in big trouble.

August 09 2010 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
longanman

The Tarp was never designed or meant to stop the economic collapse, just to let the air out of the bubble slowly. Wall Street knew this, that is why they just lined their pockets with the money, sort of the extra golden parachute, the last feed at the public larder. If the collapse had of taken place all at once in September 2008 as it was happening there would have been anarchy in this country. With this slow collapse the middle class can adjust without the shock to their new and very reduced standard of living. Sort of like cooking a frog in boiling water. If you turn up the heat slowly the frog will not realize it untill he is cooked, if you throw him in boiling water he will jump out. Folks face it a oligarchy of special interest and a foreign government that controls Washington has traded your standard of living for the benefit of others. The Iraq War, well friends its time to pay and it will be expensive. You will pay much higher taxes and you will make far less. Think about it, work on it, you will work much harder for far less, this is the legacy that you leave your kids.

August 09 2010 at 1:21 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
longanman

Only 60% of the people in America actually own a home. These people are paying most of the taxes. In effect they have become tax mules carrying the major tax burden in this country. Anyone that is underwater in their home would be a fool to keep on paying, home ownership has become a form of economic slavery. You don't really own the home in effect you just lease it from the Government and if you do not pay the taxes they will take it away from you and sell it to some other fool that will pay.

August 09 2010 at 1:20 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
longanman

The Federal Reserve under Greenspan caused the housing crisis, in an attempt to create a condition that would allow the federal and local governments to collect increased taxes. The seeds for this disaster were planted in 2003 when the Federal Reserve set artificially low interest rates. In the five years prior to 2008 housing had risen on average 180%, meanwhile wages optimistically had risen 17%. There has to be some correlation between what you pay for a home and what you make, this wage to housing matrix is way out of wack. The Federal Reserve by having artificially low interest rates had caused this speculative real estate market where housing has risen way out of reason. The low to middle class homeowner has been trapped in a mortgage that they are upside down in. Its simple if you bought a home in the two years prior to 2008 you owe twice what the home is actually worth. The Federal Reserve caused this over valuation so the increased real estate valves would allow the Government to collect increased taxes. The Federal government collected a windfall of capital gains taxes on real estate flipped and Local governments collected vastly increased property taxes. Call it the war tax, someone has to pay for the trillion dollar Iraq war. Lower interest will not help the homeowner who cannot afford the increased taxes and the increases in insurance.

August 09 2010 at 1:19 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
cvdunbar

yep, november is the real change. No bull, the truth, honest, its time for real americans to make the change, no more of this per say welfare thinking for the few, we where all to be so called equal, well its time now to revert back to earn your way, pay your way, sinl or swim and if your in need of REAL help real americans will be there for you, no more govement program cheats, no more easy gettin programs for the few, the selected, no more dividing americans with programs and welfare based on what ever they based it on, no more leaving one group behind because of race, no more having to shut up out of fear, the time is near, hay, that sounded pretty good. Sorry for bad spelling, being lazy.

August 09 2010 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
richperry05

REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER-----THAT IS THE THE SLOGAN FOR REAL AMERICANS.....

August 09 2010 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
cvdunbar

fewer? thers none left to go under, lol.

August 09 2010 at 12:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cvdunbar's comment
rexpbass

I think he ment to say 3 times more will go under that has already gone under!!!!!!!!!!!!! And NOVEMBER find OUT how many of our fine CONGRESS WILL go UNDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 09 2010 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply