It should have been a front-page, headline-screaming report, a VERY interesting piece of information was buried several paragraphs deep into a Wall Street Journal story on the reasons the housing market isn’t doing a better job at boosting the U.S. economy. The percentage of homeowners who are underwater – you know, owing more on a home loan than what the home is worth – is 8.7%. Not that anything other than 0% is ideal, but let me put that into perspective for you. According to CoreLogic, that statistic back in 2011 was 21%. The percentage of homeowners who BELIEVE they are underwater, according to data from Fannie Mae, is 27%. Yes, you read that correctly – 27%, as opposed to the 8.7% who are truly underwater. That means that for every three people who BELIEVE they’re underwater, only one of them is.
If you currently believe that you owe more on your home loan than what you believe your home is worth, there’s a 66% chance you could be wrong – and this is one of those times you would LOVE to be wrong, right? Is this current belief holding you back from listing your home or tapping into your equity for repairs or improvements? It’s highly likely that this perception is one of the chief reasons there are less homes on the market than there should be, are actually on the market. The same Journal article also explains that, while housing wealth has doubled from the bottom in 2011, Americans by and large aren’t tapping into this wealth. Curious what your home is worth? Talk to your local Realtor, use this as an opportunity to start a relationship today.