Large numbers of Arizona homeowners remain underwater

Jan 9, 2015, 8:12 AM | Updated: 8:28 am
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PHOENIX — A real estate expert said President Obama’s housing plan doesn’t go to the root of the problem.

Mark Moore with the California-based real estate investment company Home Liberty said a reduction in the mortgage insurance premium will mainly help first-time home buyers.

Many existing homeowners are out of luck and the plan doesn’t address the real issue that’s dragging down housing — underwater homeowners.

“Here in Arizona there’s over 12.7 percent of every mortgage … severely underwater here in 2015, six years after they started trying to solve this problem.”

Based on numbers from Zillow, an online real estate database, Moore said almost a quarter of a million Arizona homeowners are underwater on their mortgages.

Almost 150,000 of those homeowners are severely underwater, meaning they owe 20 percent or more than their home is currently worth.

Moore said if he could wave a magic wand to help, “I’d have the president put a program in that fairly and honestly reduced the principal.

“These are people that have had their hands tied behind their back for six years. What they’re guilty of is buying their home at the wrong time in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

It’s not productive to try to pin blame. You know the industry is at fault but the crash happened so blaming people is like closing the barn after the horses left. The fact is that 50 percent of home value in Arizona was lost.”

Moore said it’s a frustrating but common misperception that the state is in a housing recovery.

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Large numbers of Arizona homeowners remain underwater