Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)By Brian Kelly

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – As the long recovery from the housing bubble burst continues, the number of underwater homeowners continues to drop.

But in St. Louis, it’s not dropping as fast as in other parts of the country.

The latest figures from RealtyTrac show a 9 percent drop in underwater homeowners to 17 percent nationally in the last year, but only a two percent drop to 23 percent in St. Louis.

RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist says it’s simply a case of housing prices not rebounding here as quickly as elsewhere.

“Homeowners with negative equity have a little bit longer road to get out of that position because of this lower home price appreciation we’ve seen there,” he says. “But I think there is light at the end of the tunnel. The numbers are moving in the right direction.”

It’s not all bad news for St. Louis, though.

Blomquist says that 30 percent of local homeowners in foreclosure now have some positive equity in their homes, which may help them keep them or sell without a shortsale.

“Now that those homeowners have equity, fewer of them should be actually losing their homes to foreclosure,” he says. “They should now have a lifeline now that allows them to either refinance their home or sell it if they need to, but sell it without having to resort to a shortsale.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)




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