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June 03, 2014
Phoenix underwater mortgages decreaseFor awhile, underwater mortgages were the norm in Phoenix. At the end of 2011, 60% of all mortgage holders throughout the metropolitan area owed more than their homes were worth. The recession had hit the Phoenix housing market particularly hard, but the recovery has been about as remarkable. Zillow revealed that in the following two years,  Phoenix saw a two-thirds decrease in underwater mortgages. Now only 22.7% of mortgages throughout the metro area remain underwater. While this figure remains higher than the national average, the rate of decrease reveals a strong, growing housing market—great news for any homeowner in Phoenix, and anyone hoping to buy a house there.

Increasing Phoenix Home Values

In the past year, home values throughout Phoenix have increased 8.9%, and analysts predict that growth will only continue. Figures on Zillow forecast another 4.1% increase in home values by the end of 2014, which will bring more mortgages out from underwater. After years of slow growth and home sales, the Phoenix housing market has resurged; the Mojave Valley Daily News reported the whole metropolitan area experienced a spring bounce in home prices and sales. People are moving to Phoenix once again, and as that demand increases, home values follow suit.

Lingering Underwater Mortgages

While the recovery is an established fact in the Valley of the Sun, and the city is faring better than others, many Phoenix homeowners continue to struggle every month with mortgage payments, more than 1-in-5 of them owing more than their home is worth. The numbers vary by zip code, AZCentral reports, with some neighborhoods revealing negative equity rates as low as 7.6%—and others as high as 39%. This disparity reveals the pressure many communities face due to underwater mortgages. Fortunately, some solutions exist.

Opting to Refinance in Phoenix

In areas of Phoenix where the home values are increasing at slower rates, it may not be feasible for Arizona homeowners to wait until their underwater mortgages breach the surface. Monthly mortgage payments can financially cripple people, especially if their mortgage rates are significantly higher than today’s. Even if you’re among the many Phoenix mortgage holders owing more than your home is worth, refinancing is available, thanks to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Refinancing can save you hundreds every month and tens of thousands over the life of the loan. HARP has given the opportunity to refinance to many Phoenix homeowners already, and you could be eligible for the program too.

If you’re interested in purchasingrefinancing, or learning about overcoming underwater mortgages in Phoenix, simply fill out our Fast Response form or call our local branch at (480) 751-3400‎. Our experienced mortgage professionals would love to sit down and discuss your needs. We look forward to hearing from you!

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