Report shows decrease in underwater mortgages

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Aug 5, 2021
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Foreclosures have been on the rise. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Report shows decrease in underwater mortgages

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Aug 5, 2021
Heard on:
Foreclosures have been on the rise. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

A new report out today said fewer homeowners are underwater as housing prices rise. Being underwater means you owe more on your house than it’s worth. This was a major problem during the housing crisis – not so now.

ATTOM, the real estate data company, said in the second quarter of this year, only about 4% of mortgaged homes were seriously underwater, with the homeowner owing at least 25% more than the house’s value. ATTOM’s Jennifer Von Pohlmann chalks this up to rising home prices.

“It’s really having – helping homeowners get out of any hole they may be in,” she said.

Pohlmann doesn’t expect a wave of foreclosures like we saw in 2010, at the height of the housing crisis when, according to Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather, nearly a quarter of homeowners were underwater. She said there could be forced sales, instead of foreclosures.

“Even if you may be one of the homeowners who has to sell because you can’t make your monthly mortgage payments, at least you will be walking away with quite a large chunk of money because of how much home values have risen,” Fairweather said.

Because you get whatever’s left over after the house is sold, and you’ve repaid your mortgage.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.