The number of homeowners underwater in their mortgages has dropped below 10 million for the first time in more than three years. The rising of home prices is helping to push that number down. The number of homeowners underwater stood at 12.1 million at the end of 2011. According to market research firm CoreLogic, the nation’s negative equity has decreased by more than $50 billion from December to March. Home prices were up 12.1% year-over-year in April, and these gains have lifted 1.7 million home owners back into positive territory over the past year. What’s more, “borrowers with equity in their homes are less likely to default on those loans, they’re more avid spenders and they’re more able to sell homes…”, according to Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. There is still a long way to go, but this is a marked improvement for the housing market. To read more visit USA Today.