The Real Deal Miami

Underwater home loans plunge in Palm Beach County

Zillow's latest report shows a year-over-year decline from 35% to 22% during first quarter
May 20, 2014 01:30PM

underwaterUnderwater mortgages in Palm Beach County dramatically declined during the first quarter of 2014, the latest report from Zillow shows.

The Seattle-based research firm released its quarterly breakdown of how many borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their residential property’s value on Monday. In Palm Beach County, the number of underwater mortgages plunged from 35 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 22 percent during the first three months of 2014. That amounts to nearly half of the county’s underwater borrowers during the lowest point of the real estate crash.

Statewide, about 27 percent of borrowers were underwater during the first quarter, down from nearly 38 percent a year ago. Nearly 19 percent of nationwide borrowers – or about 9.7 million homeowners – owed more than their homes are worth.

“People are surprised because the prices have increased so much, there are a lot more buyers in the market and sellers can walk away with a good bit of money,” Boca Raton broker Gia Freer told the Palm Beach Post. “We still have a few short sales out there, but they’re spotty.” [Palm Beach Post]Eric Kalis