The data was released Tuesday by research firm CoreLogic Inc. (NASDAQ: CLGX).
The aggregate value of negative equity fell by $33.7 billion in the third quarter to a U.S. total of $397 billion, split almost evenly between first mortgages and first liens with home equity loans. According to CoreLogic, if home prices rise by 5%, another 1.2 million homes will no longer be underwater on their mortgages.
Nearly 10 million properties have positive equity below 20%, and 3.2% had less than 5% positive equity at the end of the third quarter.
CoreLogic’s CEO noted:
We should see a further rebound in consumer confidence and economic growth in 2014 as more homeowners escape the negative equity trap. Home price appreciation has helped more than 3 million property owners regain equity since the first quarter of 2013.
The five metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of properties with negative equity are Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla., (32.3%); Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater, Fla., (30.1%); Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz., (23.2%); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., (20.8%); and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (20.5%).
The five with the highest percentage in positive equity are Houston (95.8%); Dallas (95.3%); Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif., (94.6%); Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore., (93.4%); and Seattle (92.7%).
The five states with the highest percentages of homes with positive equity are Alaska (96.1%), Texas (96.1%), Montana (95.8%), North Dakota (95.7%) and Wyoming (95.4%). The five states with the highest percentage of homes with negative equity are Nevada (32.2%), Florida (28.8%), Arizona (22.5%), Ohio (18%) and Georgia (17.8%).