Due largely to rebounding home prices, 1,574 midstate households regained a positive equity position in the first quarter of the year, according to California-based real estate research firm CoreLogic.
Negative equity means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. It can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.
In the Lancaster area, 7,305, or 7.2 percent, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity for the first quarter compared with 8,085, or 8 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2011, CoreLogic said.
In the Harrisburg-Carlisle area, 6,683, or 9.6 percent, of homes with a mortgage were in negative equity compared with 6,867, or 10 percent, the last year’s fourth quarter.
The York-Hanover area had 8,556, or 14.2 percent, of residential properties with a mortgage underwater compared with 9,166, or 15.4 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2011.
There was no Lebanon report. CoreLogic data includes 48 million properties with a mortgage, which accounts for more than 85 percent of all U.S. mortgages.
In Pennsylvania, 10,434 households regained buoyancy in the first quarter, CoreLogic said. There were 174,309, or 9.4 percent, of residential properties in the commonwealth with a mortgage underwater.
Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage, with 61 percent of all mortgaged properties in that category. Florida was second at 45 percent, followed by Arizona at 43 percent, Georgia at 37 percent and Michigan at 35 percent.
More than 700,000 households nationally regained a positive equity position in the first quarter, CoreLogic said.
The low end of the market is where the bulk of the negative equity is concentrated, the firm said. For homes valued at less than $200,000, the negative equity share is 31 percent for borrowers, almost twice the 15.9 percent for borrowers with home values greater than $200,000.