5 States Account for 32% of Underwater Mortgages

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Of nearly 45.9 million mortgaged residential properties in the United States at the end of the second quarter of 2015, in approximately 5.4 million (10.9%) the mortgage amount was greater than the value of the property. The percentage of underwater or negative equity properties at the end of the second quarter was higher than the 2014 fourth quarter total of 10.8% and the 2015 first quarter total of 10.2%.

Some 17.8% (approximately 9 million) of all mortgaged properties have positive equity below 20%, and 2.3% had less than 5% positive equity at the end of the second quarter. These levels are slightly lower than at the end of the first quarter of 2015, when 19.4% of all properties had positive equity below 20% and 2.7% had less than 5% positive equity.

The aggregate value of negative equity fell by $28.5 billion in the second quarter to a nationwide total of $309.5 billion. At the end of the first quarter, the aggregate value of underwater property totaled $338 billion. The data were released Tuesday by research firm CoreLogic.

CoreLogic’s CEO noted:

For much of the country, the negative equity epidemic is lifting. The biggest reason for this improvement has been the relentless rise in home prices over the past three years, which reflects increasing money flow into housing and a lack of housing stock in many markets. CoreLogic predicts home prices to rise an additional 4.7 percent over the next year, and if this happens, 800,000 homeowners could regain positive equity by July 2016.

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The five states with the highest percentage of homes with negative equity are Nevada (20.6%), Florida (18.5%), Arizona (15.4%), Rhode Island (13.8%) and Illinois (113.1%). These five states accounted for 31.7% of all underwater mortgages in the second quarter of 2015.

The five states with the highest percentages of homes with positive equity are Texas (97.9%), Alaska (97.6%), Hawaii (97.5%), Montana (97.2%) and Colorado (96.7%).

The five metropolitan areas with the highest percentage of properties with negative equity are:

  • Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater, Fla. (20.2%)
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. (15.4%),
  • Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill. (15.3%)
  • Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (12.3%)
  • Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. (11.8%).

The five metro areas with the highest percentage in positive equity are:

  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (98.1%)
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore. (97.8%)
  • Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas (97.8%)
  • Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. (97.5%)
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (97.5%)

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