Home Real Estate U.S. housing boom rescues more than 1 million ‘underwater’ homes

U.S. housing boom rescues more than 1 million ‘underwater’ homes

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The number of homes nationwide that are classified as “equity-rich,” meaning their value is at least double the outstanding loan balance, jumped by 4.2 million in the same period. They now account for 34.4% of all mortgaged properties, up from 26.7% at the end of 2019.

“Instead of the virus pandemic harming homeowners, it’s helped create conditions that have boosted the balance sheets of households all across the country,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer at Attom.

After the 2008 crash, borrowers across the country were left owning property that was worth much less than what they’d borrowed to buy it, leading to an extended foreclosure crisis in which millions of Americans were thrown out of their homes.

In the pandemic, the government imposed a moratorium on foreclosures. That measure expired on July 31, but the rapid increase in housing prices while it was in force means that many struggling homeowners may now be able to sell their property for a…

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