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Fewer Michiganders are underwater on their mortgages

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A new report says a quarter of Michigan homeowners are underwater on their mortgages – and that’s a big improvement.

Back in 2012, roughly half of Michigan homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.

Daren Bloomquist of Realty Trac says Michigan, like the rest of the nation, has seen steady improvement in home values since the end of the recession.

“Although it’s still a problem for the housing market, because you’re still talking about one in every four homeowners who really can’t participate in the housing recovery,” says Bloomquist.

Bloomquist says most of the Michigan homeowners who remain underwater on their mortgages bought their homes between 2004 and 2008. 

The new Realty Trac report also tracks how the mortgage crisis can be viewed through the prism of politics.

The report finds homeowners in Democratic congressional districts tend to be either seriously underwater on their mortgages (16%) or seriously equity rich (22%). Bloomquist attributes this to Democratic congressional seats being predominately in urban and suburban parts of the counties where home values have fluctuated wildly in recent years.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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