5 Metro Areas With the Most (and Fewest) Underwater Mortgages

Foreclosed home
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Of nearly 49.5 million mortgaged properties in the United States at the end of the second quarter of 2014, there are about 5.3 million where the mortgage amount is greater than the value of the property. These underwater or negative equity properties represent 10.7% of all mortgaged properties in the country. It is an improvement from the 12.7% of underwater properties at the end of the first quarter of this year.

Mortgage borrower equity had increased by approximately $1 trillion year-over-year at the end of the second quarter. The data were released Thursday by research firm CoreLogic.

The aggregate value of negative equity fell by $38.1 billion in the second quarter to a U.S. total of $345.1 billion.

Some 19% of all mortgaged properties have positive equity below 20%, and 2.6% had less than 5% positive equity at the end of the first quarter.

CoreLogic’s CEO noted:

With more and more borrowers regaining equity, we expect homeownership to become an increasingly attractive option for many who have remained on the sidelines in the aftermath of the great recession. This should provide more opportunities for people to sell their homes, purchase a different home or refinance an existing mortgage.

The five metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of properties with negative equity are Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater, Fla., (26.2%); Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz., (19.5%); Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill., (17.9%); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., (15.4%); and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga., (15.3%).

The five with the highest percentage in positive equity are Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, (97.5%); Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas, (97%); Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif., (96.4%); Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore., (96.1%); and Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash., (95.4%).

The five states with the highest percentages of homes with positive equity are Texas (97.3%), Alaska (96.5%), Montana (96.4%), North Dakota (96.0%) and Hawaii (96.0%). The five states with the highest percentage of homes with negative equity are Nevada (26.3%), Florida (24.3%), Illinois (19.7%), Arizona (19.0%) and Rhode Island (14.8%).

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