S.C. below national average for number of seriously underwater home loans

The percentage of residential properties in South Carolina that were seriously underwater in the third quarter was slightly below the national average, according to a report released by housing data company RealtyTrac.

In South Carolina, 93,933 homes were seriously underwater — meaning the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value. That represents 12% of all properties with a mortgage, according to RealtyTrac.

About 8.1 million properties were seriously underwater in the United States, which equates to 15% of all mortgages properties, RealtyTrac said. That’s an estimated $1.4 trillion in negative equity.

The national percentage has been going down since 2012, the report said. In the second quarter of 2012, 12.8 million homes, or 29% of all properties, were seriously underwater. In the third quarter of 2013, the number had decreased to 10.7 million properties, or 23% of all properties with a mortgage. And in the second quarter of this year, 9.1 million properties were seriously underwater, representing 17% of the total.

The decrease in underwater properties is promising, but the estimated $1.4 trillion in negative equity means that the floodwaters are not receding as quickly as they were before, corresponding to slowing home price appreciation,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a statement. “Slower price appreciation means the 8 million homeowners seriously underwater could still have a long road back to positive equity.”

RealtyTrac also looked into which financial institutions had the largest number of seriously underwater home loans. At the end of the third quarter, Wells Fargo had 23,702 and Bank of America had 20,784 seriously underwater loans, the report said. Government entities Fannie MaeFreddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration combined for 18,094 seriously underwater loans, while US Bank had 17,932 and Chase had 13,664, RealtyTrac said.

 

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