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Mortgage borrowers regain positive equity, housing starts increase

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 6:04:21 PM

As substantial growth in the housing market continues to be observed during the first months of 2013, nationwide figures may have received a previous boost from improvements in residential financing seen at the conclusion of 2012. According to CoreLogic, a total of 200,000 residential properties moved from being underwater to positive equity in the fourth quarter of last year, bringing the total number of homeowners whose properties are worth more than their mortgages in 2012 to about 1.7 million.

"There is certainly more to do but with fewer borrowers underwater, the fundamentals underpinning the housing market will continue to strengthen," said Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive officer of CoreLogic. "The trend toward more homeowners moving back into positive equity territory should continue in 2013."

A possible effect of the positive developments seen in residential lending may be the recent housing figures showing improvements in building permits, starts and completions. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced all three aspects were up on a year-over-year basis, pointing toward possible future growth.

While privately-owned housing completions reportedly dipped slightly from January, they were up on an annual basis. Single-family housing also improved month-over-month, however.

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