Personal Finance

August 30, 2013

Big jump in home values pulls homeowners above water on mortgages

At the end of June, 12.2 million homeowners with mortgages — 23.8 percent — remained underwater, meaning they owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth, according to an analysis by Zillow. That’s down from 15.3 million a year ago.
Above water

A big jump in home values has pulled 3.2 million homeowners above water on their mortgages in the past year. At the end of June, 12.2 million homeowners with mortgages — 23.8 percent — remained underwater, meaning they owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth, according to an analysis by Zillow. That’s down from 15.3 million a year ago. The drop in underwater borrowers correlated with a robust jump in home prices.

Discount car rentals

Hertz said it will expand its discount Firefly brand into the United States. The move will allow the car rental company to re-enter the lower-price leisure car rental market in the U.S., which it temporarily exited when it sold off the Advantage brand earlier this year. Hertz said this is the fastest-growing market segment among airport car rentals. The company said it plans to add Firefly to its first location, Orlando, Fla., in September. It plans to add further sites throughout the year, including San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The company plans to have by the end of the year approximately 20 Firefly locations. The service was launched in Europe.

Money market funds

Assets in money market funds rose $6.46 billion in the week ending Wednesday as investors added money to government and non-government funds, according to the Investment Company Institute.

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