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Fewer Tampa Bay homeowners are underwater on their mortgages

Nationwide, home equity increased an average of $5,300 per homeowner over the past year.

The number of Tampa Bay homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth dropped by almost 2,500 in the three months ended in September. According to the real estate data site CoreLogic, 4.65 percent of bay area homeowners had negative equity in the third quarter compared to 5 percent in the previous quarter. In raw numbers, 28,631 borrowers are now underwater out of the 615,385 homeowners with mortgages in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.

Nationwide, 3.7 percent of borrowers owe more than their homes are worth compared to 26 percent at the peak of the Great Recession in 2009. “The negative equity share continues to decline thanks to rising home prices across the nation,” said Frank Martell, CoreLogic’s president and CEO. Meanwhile, U.S. homeowners have gained an average of $5,300 in equity over the past year.