The Real Deal Miami

PBC nearly doubles national average of underwater homeowners

November 30, 2011 05:22PM

Nearly 41 percent of homeowners with mortgages in Palm Beach County owed more on their mortgages than their homes are worth in the third quarter, according to CoreLogic data cited by the Palm Beach Post, but that’s actually a drop from the 42 percent recorded in the second quarter.

The nationwide average was 22 percent.

Though the slight drop may be encouraging to some, Palm Beach-based housing research firm Metrostudy said the percentage dropped because banks repossessed more homes. According to RealtyTrac, 1,800 Palm Beach County homes were returned to lenders during the third quarter.

The Palm Beach Post cited several experts who believe the worst of the housing crash is probably behind South Florida, but its difficult to tell when a rebound will begin in earnest.

“As much as we’d like to look at high Black Friday sales and say housing is going to take a jump, there is a big difference between buying Christmas presents and buying a house,” said S&P Indices Chairman David Blitzer, who oversees the Case-Shiller Index. [PB Post]