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Many metro Atlantans and Georgians continue to be stuck with properties that are worth less than the outstanding loans on them, but the good news is that fewer properties locally and nationally are dealing with negative equity.
In the last three months of 2012, Georgia again ranked fourth in the nation in percentage of mortgaged properties that were “underwater,” with 34 percent falling in that category, according to research at CoreLogic.
The finding, however, was a slight improvement from the 35 percent of underwater properties in the third quarter, when the state also ranked fourth.
Metro Atlanta ranked third in underwater properties among the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the country, CoreLogic reported.
“The scourge of negative equity continues to recede across the country,” CoreLogic Chief Executive Officer Anand Nallathambi said in a statement. “The trend toward more homeowners moving back into positive equity territory should continue in 2013.”
Negative equity is keeping many homeowners from putting their properties on the market, and that has contributed to a decline in the number of homes for sale in metro Atlanta. Listings in metro Atlanta were down 32 percent in February, compared with the same month in 2012, according to Zillow.com.
On the upside, the drop in inventory eventually will drive up home values in many markets, Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said recently. “As home values rise, some homeowners will be freed from negative equity and able to list their homes, which will contribute to an easing of the inventory crunch.”
Nationally, 10.4 million, or 21.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were still in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012, CoreLogic said, but that figure is down from 10.6 million properties, or 22 percent, at the end of the third quarter of 2012.
Half of the mortgaged properties in Nevada were underwater, giving the state the dubious No. 1 spot, followed by Florida and Arizona.
Is negative equity standing in the way of your desire to sell your home?