RealtyTrac reports that 17 percent of U.S. residential properties with a mortgage are still seriously “underwater” meaning the combined loan amount on the property is 25 percent or more above the current market value on nine million homes.
“U.S. homeowners are continuing to recover equity lost during the Great Recession, but the pace of that recovering equity slowed in the first quarter, corresponding to slowing home price appreciation,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a release. “Slower price appreciation means the 9 million homeowners seriously underwater could still have a long road back to positive equity.
The first quarter negative equity numbers were down to the lowest level since RealtyTrac began reporting negative equity in the first quarter of 2012.
Markets with most negative equity
States with the highest percentage of residential properties seriously underwater in the first quarter were Nevada (34 percent), Florida (31 percent), Illinois (30 percent), Michigan (29 percent), and Ohio (27 percent).
Major metropolitan statistical areas (population 500,000 or more) with the highest percentage of residential properties seriously underwater were Las Vegas (37 percent), Lakeland, Fla., (36 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla., (35 percent), Cleveland (35 percent), Akron, Ohio (34 percent), and Detroit (33 percent).