In its latest estimates, CoreLogic reported that an additional 273,000 U.S. homes recovered to a positive equity position in the third quarter of last year, bringing the total number of mortgaged homes with equity to approximately 44.6 million—representing about 90 percent of all mortgaged properties in the nation.
Declines in negative equity in the third quarter were concentrated in a handful of states, with Nevada, Georgia, Michigan, and Florida seeing some of the biggest improvements. However, those states are still experiencing higher than average levels of underwater mortgages. The problem is worst in Nevada and Florida, which both topped the list of states with the highest negative equity rates.
A slide in 10-year Treasury yields dragged fixed mortgage rates to their lowest point in more than a year and a half, according to the latest weekly survey from Freddie Mac. Freddie reported Thursday that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.73 percent in the last week. This week's decline puts average interest rates at their lowest level since May 2013, when they took off on hints that the Federal Reserve may soon start to taper its monthly bond-buying program. While problems in Europe may continue to put a cap on mortgage rates, movements in the next week could be more moderate, owing to more promising economic news at home.