Sure is nice for us Houston didn’t get caught up in that big price run-up housing markets in the rest of the country fell for! That’s why in Houston real estate is in much better shape than it is everywhere else, right?
Not according to a study released yesterday by First American CoreLogic. The research firm estimates that 18.3 percent of all mortgaged properties in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown region are in a “negative equity position,” and another 6.7 percent are within just 5 percentage points of being there. “Negative equity,” AKA “I’ve fallen down and I can’t get up,” means a mortgage holder owes more than the underlying property is worth.
In other words, 1 in every 4 Houston-area mortgages is already in deep doo-doo.
But hey, all it’ll take to recover is for prices to rise a little! And the rest of the country is doing much worse, right?
In some areas, sure. (More than half of all mortgages are now upside-down in Nevada, for example.) But Houston’s 25-percent-of-mortgages-are-waterlogged figure is right at the national average. First American CoreLogic estimates 20 percent of mortgages nationwide are already underwater; back in September the country-wide average was 18 percent — just about where this region is today.
Which means that if Houston really is the last car on the real-estate roller coaster, it should be pretty clear which direction we’re headed.
- New Data Shows One-Fifth of all Mortgages Underwater [First American CoreLogic]
- Housing plan’s effect in Houston area? Hard to tell [Houston Chronicle]
- Study: Texas negative equity at 18 percent [Houston Business Journal]
- Report: 20% of Home Mortgages Were Underwater in December [Wall Street Journal]
- Previously in Swamplot: Houston Real Estate Sales Volume: Off the Charts!
Image: First American CoreLogic