Rising Values Lift the O.C. Market & Spring Gardening Tips

2015 Price Gains Restore Equity to 6,600 O.C. Homes

Rising home values helped lift 6,609 Orange County homes from being “under water” last year, meaning that their values no longer are less than what’s owed on their mortgages, Irvine-based CoreLogic reported Thursday.

During the fourth quarter of 2015, 12,930 O.C. homes were “under water,” or worth less than their mortgages. That’s down from more than 19,500 at the end of 2014.

“Higher prices driven largely by tight supply are certainly a big reason for the rise” of homes with equity, said CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi. “But continued population growth, household formation and ultra-low interest rates are also factors.”

Equity is a property’s value above what’s owed on its mortgage. So if a home with a $500,000 mortgage is worth $550,000, it has $50,000 in equity.

But if it’s value is just $450,000, it’s under water because the owner owes $50,000 more than it’s worth.

The number of underwater homes soared during the housing crash because prices dropped below what owners owed their lenders.

At the height of the foreclosure crisis in 2009, 130,000 Orange County homes – more than one out of every five mortgaged residences – were worth less than their debt, CoreLogic figures show.

In the fourth quarter of last year, however, 2.4 percent of all Orange County homes with a mortgage – fewer than one in 40 – were under water.

Spring Gardening Ideas Daffodils

Description: The bright, jovial spring flower has a range of shapes and sizes, from trumpet to small- and large-cupped to double

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

Lettuce & Gourmet Salad Greens

Description: Lettuce and other salad greens tolerate most temperatures, making them ideal plants for those who are new to growing.

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.


Description: Cucumber varieties include long green slicers, small kinds for pickling, and yellow, mild-flavored lemon cucumbers.

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

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