1 in 10 American are underwater as of March 2014, an improvement from 1 in 3 homeowners in 2010. This according to Black Knight Financial Services mortgage monitor report, which found rising home prices over the past few years have helped distressed loans work their way through the system, causing a decline in homeowners with negative equity. Four years ago, 34 percent of borrowers were in negative equity positions, compared to the current figure of just 10 percent. But where homeowners live plays a large part in painting a clearer picture of negative equity across the nation. Judicial states have a higher negative equity rate at 13.4 percent, compared to the 7.9 percent rate in non-judicial states. The state with the highest total non-current loans was Mississippi at 13.4 percent, followed closely by New Jersey, Florida, New York, and Maine. Excluding Mississippi, the remaining four states are judicial states, suggesting longer timelines for resolving foreclosures are impacting non-current loan rates.
News of worse-than-expected first-quarter economic growth brought fixed mortgage rates down this week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The company reported that the average 30-year fixed rate was 4.29 percent, down from 4.33 percent last week. Last year, the 30-year rate was down at 3.35 percent. Freddie Mac pins the decline on disappointing numbers for gross domestic product in the first quarter, which fell short of market forecasts.