Rising home prices last year have given U.S. borrowers some much-needed relief. Nearly four million mortgages came back above water in 2013, according to a new survey from Zillow, cited by CNBC.
“We’ve reached an important milestone as negative equity has fallen below 20 percent nationwide, which has helped free up marginally more inventory and contribute to further stabilization of the market,” Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries, said in a release.
But the news isn’t all good — some 9.8 million borrowers still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
“A number of headwinds will prevent negative equity from falling at the kind of sustained, rapid pace we need before the market can completely return to normal, and it remains roughly four times what it is in a healthier market,” Humphries added.