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Homes in foreclosure, underwater declines

The number of Charlotte area homeowners who are seriously underwater on their mortgages increased 0.9 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, but was down 0.4 percent from the first quarter, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac.

At the same time, homes that are equity rich in the Charlotte area increased to 16.6 percent of those with a mortgage, up 2.6 percent year over year and 0.1 percent over the first quarter. Equity rich homes are defined as having a loan-to-value ratio of 50 percent or lower.

In the second quarter, 8.6 percent of Charlotte-area homeowners were seriously underwater, defined as homes for which the loan-to-value ratio is 125 percent or higher. The Charlotte metropolitan statistical area was in better shape than the nation, in which 11.9 percent of properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater. In North Carolina, 10.4 percent of homes were seriously underwater.

“Rising home prices are lifting all home equity boats: bailing out seriously underwater homeowners and enriching homeowners who already have positive equity,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Nationwide home prices reached a new all-time high in June on the heels of 52 consecutive months of annual increases. While that national trend is consistent in most markets across the country, there are still some local markets and sub-markets that have been largely left behind by the housing recovery and which still have a high percentage of underwater homeowners.”

ATTOM also reported that the rate of Charlotte-area homes in the foreclosure process in July decreased 51.36 percent from July 2015 and 17.37 percent from June.

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