Fewer underwater as prices rise

From the WSJ:

Real-Estate Rebound Buoys Underwater Mortgage Borrowers

As the real-estate market rebounds, many luxury homeowners who just a few years ago had their heads underwater are now only ankle deep.

At the end of the first quarter, 20.6% of homes with jumbo mortgages were underwater, meaning the owners owed more on the mortgage than the home was worth. That’s compared with 32.3% a year ago, according to real-estate website Zillow.com.

More important, the level of negative equity has improved significantly for homeowners, said Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow. “Nationally most people in negative equity are in relatively shallow water, with less than 20% negative equity,” he said, meaning that borrowers’ loan-to-value percentage is less than 120%.

The Zillow analysis includes homes that have one jumbo mortgage and whose unpaid balance is still at a jumbo level, above the threshold for government-backed loans of $417,000 in most areas of the country and $625,500 in certain high-price home markets, such as New York, San Francisco and Boston.

The strengthening economy and housing market have boosted the value of high-end homes, which has translated to fewer homeowners underwater. As a result, more borrowers with jumbo mortgages will be eligible to refinance their loans at a time when interest rates are still historically low and the availability of jumbos is improving. As of June 21, the interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate jumbo was 4.52%, just 0.06 percentage point above the 4.46% rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming loan, which falls under the threshold for jumbo loans.

In the New York metro area, 14.5% of homes with jumbo mortgages are currently in negative equity, according to Zillow, but home values in Manhattan appear to have stabilized back to normal levels, said David Adamo, CEO of Luxury Mortgage, a lender based in Stamford, Conn. “Jumbo refinancing is back to business as usual,” he added. “We’re doing them all day, every day.”

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Recovery, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Fewer underwater as prices rise

  1. First, and headed toward a bridge abutment at 140 mph, mf’er!

  2. 1987 Condo says:


  3. 1987 Condo says:

    June Non-farm payrolls: 195,000
    May revised up to 195,000 (up 20,000)

  4. 1987 Condo says:

    #1…Clot, let me know when you lapse your RE license (which I would have thought you did years ago)

  5. grim says:

    From Bloomberg:

    Payrolls in U.S. Increase 195,000, Unemployment 7.6%

    Employment increased more than forecast in June, wages picked up and the U.S. jobless rate held close to a four-year low as the world’s largest economy weathered the effect of higher taxes and federal budget cuts.

    Payrolls rose by 195,000 workers for a second straight month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey projected a 165,000 gain after a previously reported 175,000 increase in May. The jobless rate stayed at 7.6 percent, while hourly earnings in the year ended in June advanced by the most since July 2011.

    Job gains and a rebound in housing are shoring up Americans’ finances and boosting expectations that the economy will gain momentum even after the payroll tax increased and government agencies began to cut spending. Federal Reserve policy makers have said they’ll start to trim bond purchases before the end of the year as unemployment falls.

    “The job market’s as good as it was last month,” Drew Matus, deputy U.S. chief economist at UBS Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report. “The labor market is going to continue to be a source of support for the U.S. economy both in terms of income and in terms of consumer willingness to spend.”

    Forecasts of the 91 economists surveyed for June payrolls ranged from increases of 77,000 to 220,000. The Labor Department surveys businesses and households for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month.

    Revisions to the prior two months’ payrolls reports added a total of 70,000 jobs to the employment count in April and May.

  6. NJCoast says:

    Sandy who? The shore was packed yesterday- Asbury, Ocean Grove, Belmar had droves. Our beach club is back better than ever. New cabanas and new bathrooms, although the restaurant won’t be back until next summer. Yesterday morning Wegman’s was like a mall the day before Christmas. Ocean temperature was 58 degrees and the air was quite cool last night but the bonfire and martini helped to warm things up. Good times at the Jersey shore.

  7. AG says:

    Nice bounce back for the shore. They did a heck of a job getting the boardwalks back up and they look great. They still need the dunes built though. 25ft high all the way from bay head to seaside.

  8. JSMC says:

    When I went to Ocean City at the end of April, everything was the same as it ever was, though the town didn’t get wrecked like the northern shore points did. Combined with the intense marketing campaign, any rental/hotel room that has can fit bodies will have bodies this summer.

  9. chicagofinance says:

    Actually the more provocative development is that clot allowed his Driver’s License to lapse in a fit of nihilistic rage. When he gets pulled over on his long commutes to Hudson County, he buys off the cops with bottles of liquor. He keeps a stash in his truck.

    1987 Condo says:
    July 5, 2013 at 8:37 am
    #1…Clot, let me know when you lapse your RE license (which I would have thought you did years ago)

  10. grim says:

    Clot – Serious question – Pappy?

  11. Richard says:

    10y has blown up this morning. Hello to 5% mortgages next week

  12. chicagofinance says:

    also…it appears that Mandela < Vigoda

  13. grim says:

    10 year up to 2.71 this morning, to the moon!

  14. Fast Eddie says:

    In the New York metro area, 14.5% of homes with jumbo mortgages are currently in negative equity, according to Zillow, but home values in Manhattan appear to have stabilized back to normal levels, said David Adamo, CEO of Luxury Mortgage, a lender based in Stamford, Conn. “Jumbo refinancing is back to business as usual,” he added. “We’re doing them all day, every day.”

    Does any of this even warrant an intelligent discussion? Does anyone with half a f.ucking brain read this and not laugh like a lunatic?

  15. Fast Eddie says:

    10 year up to 2.71 this morning, to the moon!

    And nevermind the rising 30 yr. rate, because everyone is in the black again, house prices are rising, taxes are rising and salaries are dead. In other words, 1 + 1 = 3 because we say so.

  16. Richard says:

    10y at 2.7% sounds like the moon, but it really still lower than where it was in 2011. OTOH the housing market wasn’t good in 2011.

  17. grim (10)-

    Efforting that. None in house right now; I only get 1-2 bottles of various items that usually show up with no advance notice.

  18. Juice Box says:

    My private backyard oasis is a big hit with the family. Pool is very warm even with it raining nearly every day water is a balmy 84 degrees. All of the rain etc over the last month I am way behind on my gardening. I filled an entire 56 gallon trash can with weeds etc and I am not done. I am going to need some kind of weed tool kit or a flame thrower.

  19. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [13];

    10 year up to 2.71 this morning, to the moon!

    Does this mean the Fed can no longer ignore the inflationary effects of creating $85B/mo. out of thin air?

  20. 1987 Condo says:

    #19…not so sure there is any inflation resulting from a book keeping exercise that keeps the money in reserves and out of the market…….

  21. chicagofinance says:

    Be really careful with poison ivy; especially over by where you are……it loves the underbrush of pine trees…..also there can be bees nests in the ground….

    Juice Box says:
    July 5, 2013 at 10:29 am
    I am going to need some kind of weed tool kit or a flame thrower.

  22. Obviously, this situation requires a flame thrower.

  23. Also great for starting charcoal grill fires.

  24. Juice Box says:

    re: #21 – Leaves of three, let them be… No forest clearing until next season.

  25. Juice Box says:

    Charcoal grilling is the way to go for me. I have a nice Weber with a thermometer. I can control the heat in that grill almost as good as a gas oven, and a chimney starter makes firing it up about 15 minutes and easy using just newspaper so nothing smells or tastes like lighter fluid. Trick is to close the vents fully when you are done grilling so the coals don’t turn completely to ash and use them over and over to keep the charcoal bed in the grill full to get a nice even heat going next time you grill. It takes a little extra time than a propane grill but the food smells and tastes better when cooked over charcoal in my humble opinion.

    Tonight’s feast will be baby back ribs. 1/2 hour in oven and then finish them on the grill. I won’t do any real smoking until later in the season.

  26. chicagofinance says:

    I know Whole Foods is a money pit, but it is hard to beat their butcher counter in Eastern Monmouth county…..if you get to know the guys back there, they will steer you in the right direction…….

  27. chicagofinance says:

    Vacation at Myrtle Beach JJ Style with “Skeeter”:

    Couple arrested for having sex in motel… and leaving the curtains open for all to see: cops

    Skeeter Levi Judd, 19, and Andrea Rose Mazzocchi, 20, were charged in South Carolina with engaging in a lewd, obscene act, according to authorities.
    19-year-old Skeeter Levi Judd (l.) and 20-year-old Andrea Rose Mazzocchi were charged with engaging in a lewd, obscene act after leaving the curtains open on their motel room while they had sex, according to police.

    Get a room… but remember to close the drapes!

    A South Carolina couple were busted having sex inside a motel after they left their curtains wide-open.

    Shocked passersby called cops Saturday night after seeing the pair banging away in their street-level room at the Holiday Sands Motel on Myrtle Beach.

    Skeeter Levi Judd, 19, of Douglas, Wyoming, and Andrea Rose Mazzocchi, 20, of Florence, were arrested and charged with engaging in a lewd, obscene act.

    They also face charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication, reports WBTW.

  28. Skeeter must be related to Bebo.

  29. Anon E. Moose says:


    Unemployment report in a nutshell: the Taco Bell that had 30 40 hour workers now has 40 30 hour workers.<


  30. Natty-gas grills are for losers.

  31. Richard says:

    Not pretty on the mortgage front today


    For their part, MBS have completely left the building. Words can’t really do justice to the destruction. The fact that this sell-off was on the table as a possibility and followed an important piece of data may make our analytical response less frenzied and confused than Black Wednesday in May 2009, but today’s losses are actually worse (70 ticks max intraday losses today vs 66 ticks on Black Wednesday). When we consider the change vs the previous close, today only widens its lead. If yesterday was “happy 4th,” today is “unhappy 5th.” Black Friday is taken, but we’re open to suggestions.

  32. grim says:

    Gas or Charcoal?

    It’s not or, it’s and.

    They both have their purposes, and many would argue if your serious about your outdoor cooking, you probably want an electric smoker too.

    Gas is convenient. Charcoal is like listening to LP records, you can argue for or against the taste, but what charcoal has is ritual, and that shouldn’t be overlooked.

  33. chicagofinance says:

    Richard: just to provide context…..today’s market had a skeleton crew paying attention…..check the levels around 10:30 AM on Monday for a true indication of where things will settle out…..that said…it ain’t wrong…

  34. Juice Box says:

    The End is Nigh (Pork Edition)

    A feral pig invasion is rooting through the nation.

    Farmers across the country are feeling the wrath of these wild beasts as they roam through the fields killing livestock and spreading diseases, “Today” reports.

    Originally a regional problem, feral pigs started out pillaging in southern states such as Florida and Texas. Now, the rapidly reproducing swine are ranging north through at least 35 states with an estimated total strength of 5 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


  35. Grim says:

    Mmm tasty wild boar.

  36. Fabius Maximus says:

    #36 grim

    LP propane charcoal or electricity all have strengths and weaknesses. I will say that for charcoal, dump the Kingsford and go with a natural wood. The two biggest factors with grilling are the quality of the product you are cooking and the skill of the cook. I can do a better steak on a George Forman grill that some can get on a charcoal or gas. For smoking I use charcoal while electricity is good at keeping a constant temp, I think the wood gives a nicer smoke and a better heat.

    At somepoint I will build myself a sous vide and start playing with that.

  37. Hughesrep says:


    Royal oak lump, the red bag, is the way to go for charcoal.

    Two butts and jalapeños from the garden on the offset right now.

    Made burnt ends from last weeks brisket for lunch.

    Pool is 85 and the beer is cold.

  38. Hughesrep says:

    Also using apple wood for the smoke.

  39. Juice Box says:

    Friend of mine from Argentina gave me a bag of charcoal he found at some Spanish food store in Hudson County. Stuff burned forever, made out of some real hardwood not sawdust, we slow cooked a few times using it last winter when I was living in Hoboken.

    Best American Brand I have found is Wicked Good, you can only get it in a few places in Jersey.


  40. grim says:

    You can make a DIY sous vide setup for less than the vacuum sealer will cost you.

    Digital temp controller and thermocouple on ebay – $20
    Small Coleman Cooler – $15
    Immersion Heater – $10
    Small circulator pump (aquarium) – $10
    Maybe a relay depending on how large your heater is and the max amperage of your temp controller.

    Vacuum sealer is the priciest part at around $100 for a cheap countertop model (Foodsaver).

  41. grim says:

    And I bet that once you have the controller calibrated, you can get better results in the cooler. Why? Better insulation and more water volume will keep the temp more stable, I don’t care how fancy they say their temp controllers are.

    Or just wait a year until the Chinese jump on the bandwagon, you’ll probably be able to pick up an all-in-one unit at Bed Bath and Beyond for $50 with a coupon.

  42. Hughesrep says:


    Never seen it in stores, and I’ve looked.

    Tarantin is a customer of mine. Going to load up soon.

  43. chicagofinance says:

    The Clot Guide to the 2014 FIFA World Cup:

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Police say enraged spectators invaded a football field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body after he stabbed a player to death.

    The Public Safety Department of the state of Maranhao says in a statement that it all started when referee Otavio da Silva expelled player Josenir Abreu from a game last weekend. The two got into a fist fight, then Silva took out a knife and stabbed Abreu, who died on his way to the hospital.

    The statement issued this week says Abreu’s friends and relatives immediately “rushed into the field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body.”

    Local news media say the spectators also decapitated Silva and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field.

  44. Comrade Nom Deplume, Halfwit dumbass says:

    Apparently, the knee jerk reaction of this administration towrd any criticism is to lie.


    at least his time, they didn’t deny the lie and attack the exposer.

  45. chi (47)-

    Take me out to the ballgame.

  46. Firestormik says:

    Can be picked up in any Lowes. Lately though on many occasion you will find pretty big chunks of wood – they just cannot keep up with demand and underburn wood

  47. Brian says:

    Our Heritage

    Simply a Matter of Taste
    And has been since the 1920s, when Henry Ford learned of a process for turning wood scraps from the production of Model T’s into charcoal briquets. He built a charcoal plant, and the rest is history.
    The Kingsford Company was formed when E.G. Kingsford, a relative of Ford’s, brokered the site selection for Ford’s new charcoal manufacturing plant. The company, originally called Ford Charcoal, was renamed Kingsford® Charcoal in his honor.
    Today, the Kingsford Products Company remains the leading manufacturer of charcoal in the U.S. More than 1 million tons of wood scraps are converted into quality charcoal briquets every year.
    Barbequing with charcoal has become immensely popular since Ford’s time.
    Bring some of that deliciously smoky flavor home today and taste for yourself how superior charcoal-grilled foods can be. Kingsford products are available nationwide at grocery stores, mass retailers, drugstores, warehouse clubs and home centers.

    If you’re grilling all day, take the time to use charcoal.

    If you grill everyday, use gas.

  48. Libtard at home says:

    I’m w/ Brian on this one. I will admit that one to one, charcoal tastes better. But, the preparation of the food and one’s ability not to overcook it are what really make a much bigger difference.

  49. Fabius Maximus says:

    #44 grim

    You don’t really need a vacuum sealer. You can make do with Ziploc Freezer bags. Add a little liquid and you can get most of the air out with your hands. Just remember that you should eat the food straight away and storage should be a cold just over 1 deg C fridge, freezer or straight to the garbage.

    I was in Costco and they are shifting their on floor stock of Kamado grills for I think $369. This is a knock off Green Egg ceramic. I am so tempted, but cant justify adding a 7th grill to the collection.

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