A newly released report reveals underwater properties are steadily declining, with more than one million shifting status in 2016. This could possibly be a turning point in the lack of housing inventory.
“Since home prices bottomed out nationwide in the first quarter of 2012, the number of seriously underwater U.S. homeowners has decreased by about 7.1 million, an average decrease of about 1.4 million each year,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions.
“Despite this upward trend over the past five years, the massive loss of home equity during the housing crisis forced many homeowners to stay in their homes longer before selling, effectively disrupting the historical domino effect of move-up buyers that feeds both demand for new homes and supply of inventory for first-time homebuyers,” Blomquist says.
The drop-off of shrinking underwater properties and expanding equity could indicate the lack of inventory shortage will be changing.With more quality housing options readably available to buyers we should see prices start to fall. This trend has not hit Rhode Island as of yet though. The Rhode Island Association of Realtors reported that the number of single-family homes sold in December increased 6.2 percent from December of 2015 and median sales price increased 3.7 percent to $235,900.
“Overall, we’re in good shape heading into 2017. As prices rise, more people will see gains in home equity which will give them more freedom to move. That should provide some relief to our supply shortage,” commented Brenda L. Marchwicki, president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.