Seasonal factors contributed to an 89,000-unit increase in the number of seriously delinquent properties in the first quarter from the fourth quarter of 2016.
The quarter ended with nearly 5.5 million homes seriously underwater, compared with 5.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter and 6.7 million for the first quarter of 2016.
“There is typically a seasonal increase in the share of underwater homes in the first quarter. It’s primarily a result of a corresponding seasonal uptick in the share of distressed sales in the quarter along with a general seasonal lull in home prices, creating a drag on home values.
“This year we also saw an uptick in refinancing loan originations in the fourth quarter of 2016, a sign that more homeowners are leveraging more of the equity in their home, which could also be contributing to the seasonal uptick in the share of homes underwater,” said…
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