Dallas Area Third Nationwide Among Markets with High Home-Equity Rates

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Steve Brown of The Dallas Morning News reports that with housing values rising in North Texas, Dallas-area homeowners now enjoy one of the best home-equity positions in the country.

Brown cites a just-released report by CoreLogic Inc. showing that at the end of 2012 the Dallas area had the third-highest share of homeowners with mortgages who had positive equity in their homes. Approximately 90 percent of local homeowners owed less than their houses are now worth.

Only Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y., and the Houston area had higher percentages of homeowner equity, according to the CoreLogic report.

At the other end of the spectrum, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Miami area had the lowest equity with more than 40 percent of homeowners with a loan owing more than their property is worth.

Homeowner equity has been growing in the past year as housing markets around the country have turned the corner. During the fourth quarter of 2012, CoreLogic estimates that 200,000 U.S. homes returned to positive equity.

“The trend toward more homeowners moving back into positive equity territory should continue in 2013,” Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, says.

In North Texas, median home sales prices were up 8 percent in 2012 compared with 2011, according to North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc. And, during the first two months of 2013, median home sales prices of pre-owned single-family homes were up another 8 percent.

Dallas-area residential properties have regained much of the value lost during the recession, local figures show. A sharp decline in home foreclosure filings and distressed property sales in North Texas during recent months has contributed to the rise in home prices.

Inventories of houses for sale in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are at the lowest level in more than a decade. Homeowners who choose to list a home for sale now will face much less competition than has been the case in recent years.

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