The Real Deal Miami

Underwater homes in Miami-Dade are drying out: report

Homeowners are gaining back property values from housing crash

March 10, 2016 03:00PM

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A 2012 photo of the Brickell skyline taken from the Rickenbacker Causeway (Credit: Daniel Christensen)

A 2012 photo of the Brickell skyline taken from the Rickenbacker Causeway (Credit: Daniel Christensen)

Despite Miami-Dade County having more underwater home loans than anywhere else in the nation, the county’s rate fell significantly during the fourth quarter of 2015.

There were 97,021 Miami-Dade homeowners that owed more for their mortgage than what their home was worth during the fourth quarter. That means 22 percent of home loans in the county were underwater, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, there there 25,064 fewer underwater homes, marking a drop of 5.3 percentage points.

Miami-Dade was the nation’s worst county for underwater home loans during the fourth quarter. Following Miami-Dade was Las Vegas with 21.3 percent and Chicago with 16.7 percent, according to the report.

“Higher prices driven largely by tight supply are certainly a big reason for the rise [of positive equity], but continued population growth, household formation and ultralow interest rates are also factors,” Anand Nallathambi of CoreLogic wrote in the report. “Looking ahead in 2016, we expect home equity levels to continue to build, which is a good thing for the long-term health of the U.S. economy.”

Nationally, homeowners have gained back much of the property values they lost during the housing crash years ago. The U.S. rate for underwater home loans stood at 8.5 percent, or 4.3 million properties, during the fourth quarter. That rate fell by 10.6 percentage points year-over-year. — Sean Stewart-Muniz

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