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Tide of ‘Underwater’ Housing Recedes

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The long dark shadow of the worst housing bust in many decades is receding.

A new report out Thursday from RealtyTrac shows that 9.3 million homes were “deeply underwater” last month -- meaning they were worth at least 25 percent less than the combined loans secured by the property. That’s 1.6 million less than at the beginning of 2013.

“The underlying number one reason that we’re seeing this decrease in negative equity is rapidly rising home prices,” says RealtyTrac’s Daren Blomquist. “We’ve now seen 20 consecutive months where the median price of a home in the country has increased on a year-over -year basis.”

But the foreclosure crisis isn’t over. Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Orlando and some other cities are still struggling with a high percentage of borrowers who owe more than their properties are worth.

“You’re still seeing almost one in five homeowners with this negative equity,” says Blomquist.  “But it is definitely headed in the right direction.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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