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CoreLogic: Nearly 1 million houses float back into positive equity

Approximately 850,000 more residential properties returned to a state of positive equity during the first quarter of 2013, according to the CoreLogic first quarter home equity report.

The total number of mortgaged residential properties with positive equity stands at 39 million, the research firm found.

"During the past year, 1.7 million borrowers have regained positive equity. We expect the pent-up supply that falling negative equity releases will moderate price gains in many of the fast-appreciating markets this spring," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

"The negative equity burden continues to recede across the country thanks largely to rising home prices," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

The recovery is still far below peak home price levels, but tight supplies in many areas coupled with continued demand for single family homes should help close the gap, Nallathambi said.

Meanwhile, 9.7 million or 19.8% of all residential properties with a mortgage were still in negative equity at the end of the first quarter of 2013 with a total value of $580 billion. Last month, the released number was 10.4 million mortgages.

This figure is drastically down from 10.5 million, or 21.7% of all residential properties with a mortgage, at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012.

Additionally, of the 39 million, 11.2 million have less than 20% equity, with the average amount of equity for all properties with a mortgage currently at 32.8, the report said.

Looking at individual states, Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 45.4%, with Florida and Michigan following behind with 38.1% and 32%, respectively. 

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