Number of underwater residential properties decreases in the second quarter of 2012

As the third quarter of 2012 starts to come to a close, real estate figures from the second quarter are being reported by industry leaders. According to the latest statistics, the housing market is seeing marked improvements in many markets across the United States.

New analysis from CoreLogic, a leading real estate analytics firm, found that 10.8 million homes, or 22.3 percent of all residential properties in the nation financed with a mortgage, were in negative equity at the end of the second quarter of 2012 - down from the 11.4 million listed at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

"The level of negative equity continues to improve with more than 1.3 million households regaining a positive equity position since the beginning of the year," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Surging home prices this spring and summer, lower levels of inventory, and declining REO sale shares are all contributing to the nascent housing recovery and declining negative equity."

Across the nation, approximately 600,000 borrowers reached a state of positive equity by the end of the second quarter of 2012, adding to the other 700,000 who attained that status by the end of the first quarter of the same year, according to CoreLogic.

This positive trend is being seen in individual metro markets as well. As of July 2012, about 1 in every 5,103 homes for sale in Raleigh-Durham are foreclosures. In addition to the decreasing number of homes classified as distressed property sales, the median price for a single-family home is rising. According to ALTOS Research, the median price for a home in Raleigh was $245,376 on September 7, 2012. The median price paid per square foot for a house in this metro was about $111 on the same date.

With about 2,739 properties currently for sale in Raleigh, there are plenty of options out there for potential homebuyers. The average property in this metro spent about 169 days on the market before closing.

As housing market figures point toward improving real estate conditions, more potential buyers may be enticed to consider investing in a new home.