NEW YORK (AP) - The number of homeowners who owe more than their houses are
worth fell for the third straight quarter this summer.
About 10.8 million households, or 22.5 percent of all mortgaged
homes, were underwater in the July-September quarter, housing data
firm CoreLogic said Monday. That's down from 23 percent, or 11
million households, in the second quarter.
The decline came mainly because more homes had fallen into
foreclosure and not because home prices had increased.
In a healthy housing market, about 5 percent of homeowners with
a mortgage owe more than their homes are worth, CoreLogic's
economist Sam Khatar estimates. The firm does not have historical
data before the third quarter of 2009.
The ranks of underwater borrowers will remain high and likely
rise because home values are expected to fall through the middle of
next year. About 2.4 million hold only 5 percent or less equity in
their homes, putting them near the tipping point if prices in their
Two-thirds of homeowners in Nevada who have a mortgage had
negative home equity, the worst in the country. It was followed by
Arizona, Florida, Michigan and California.
However, Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida also posted the
biggest decline in negative equity, mostly because a high
percentage of severely underwater borrowers in those states fell
Oklahoma had the smallest percentage of underwater homeowners in
the third quarter at 6 percent. Only nine states recorded
percentages less than 10 percent.
The total amount of negative equity decreased to $744 billion
nationwide, down from $766 billion in the previous quarter.