18% of S.C. homeowners owe more on mortgage than house’s value

By Liz Segrist
lsegrist@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 5, 2013

In South Carolina, 18% of homeowners are deeply underwater — meaning the homeowner owes at least 25% more on the mortgage than the property is worth — according to a RealtyTrac report released today.

That equates to 115,000 homes across the state with a loan-to-value ratio of 125% or more, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report.

Twenty-four percent of S.C. homeowners are resurfacing equity, meaning roughly 150,000 homes had anywhere from 10% positive equity to 10% negative equity.

Nationally, 10.7 million residential homeowners nationwide owe at least 25% or more on their mortgages than their properties are worth. These properties represent 23% of U.S. residential properties with a mortgage — down from 11.3 million deeply underwater properties in September 2012.

An additional 8.3 million homeowners, or 18% of all U.S. homeowners, are either slightly underwater or slightly above water, putting them on track to have enough equity to sell sometime in the next 15 months — without resorting to a short sale.

“Homeowners who already have ample equity are quickly building on that equity, while the 8.3 million homeowners on the fence with little or no equity are on track to regain enough equity to sell before 2015 if home prices continue to increase at the rate of 1.33% per month that they have since bottoming out in March 2012,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said in a news release.

S.C. homeowners are 15% equity-rich, meaning the owners of those 92,000 homes had at least 50% equity. Thirty-five percent are in foreclosure with equity, meaning the properties are in some stage of the foreclosure process and the loan-to-value ratio was 100% or lower.

“Even homeowners deeply underwater have reason for hope, with about 150,000 each month rising past the 25% negative-equity milestone — although it will certainly take years rather than months before most of those homeowners have enough equity to sell other than via short sale,” Blomquist said in the news release.

Residential home sales, ownership

The table below lists the percentages of homes in various stages of equity for select S.C. counties in the Upstate, Midlands and Lowcountry. Of these counties, Richland had the highest percentage of homeowners that are seriously underwater, or owing at least 25% more on their mortgages than their properties are worth.

 
County
Anderson
Berkeley
Calhoun
Charleston
Dorchester
Greenville
Lexington
Orangeburg
Richland
Spartanburg

Seriously
Underwater
15%
22%
0%
19%
22%
11%
15%
22%
27%
12%

Resurfacing
Equity
24%
25%
0%
20%
27%
26%
29%
22%
22%
29%

 
Equity-rich
18%
11%
50%
17%
10%
15%
14%
16%
11%
16%

In Foreclosure
with Equity
36%
23%
Not reported
39%
20%
52%
34%
27%
21%
46%

Source: RealtyTrac

Reach Liz Segrist at 843-849-3119.

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