Homeowners Who are Underwater are Not Alone in Massachusetts

Posted: May 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

By Anthony Buono

If you are in a position where you are underwater on your home, you are not alone in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, 17% of homeowners are underwater in Massachusetts. If you think you need to sell your home, and you believe you will have to sell at a loss, it is important to solicit the help of a real estate attorney. There may be ways to keep you in your home. But, if you think you are in financial trouble, the time to act is now.

Losses Rise as the Boston Housing Market Tumbles

Greater Boston’s housing market has tumbled back to 2002’s pricing levels, and one out of every three homes being sold is resulting in a loss.

The price declines have left approximately 17 percent of the Massachusetts homeowners underwater, that is, holding a mortgage balance that exceeds a home’s value. Greater Boston’s “underwater” rate — essentially one in six homeowners — is up from the 14 percent of Massachusetts homeowners who were underwater at the end of 2010 and is far ahead of the 11.7 percent mark set a year earlier. The national negative-equity rate is 28.4 percent.

The local housing data was included in a national report published Monday by Zillow.com.

According to the Zillow analysis, Boston-area home values were down 5.3 percent on a year-over-year basis as of March 31 and had tumbled 2.6 percent from the end of 2010. The region’s average single-family home value was $305,800 at the end of the quarter, versus the national average of $169,600. Pricing averages are derived from Zillow’s Home Value Index and include all homes, and “not just those that sold in a particular period.”

Boston-area prices have slipped 23.2 percent since their peak in July 2005 and are back to where they were nearly a decade ago in June 2002.

The trends appear to be forcing more homeowners to sell at a loss. According to Zillow, 33.9 percent of all first-quarter sales went for less than their prior purchase prices. That was up roughly 3 percent on both a year-over-year basis as well as a quarter-to-quarter basis. Nationally, 37.7 percent of all home sales were at a loss in the first quarter — a new record.

Original article-Boston Business Journal by Craig M. Douglas

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