1 in 4 Home Owners Underwater on Mortgages

1 in 4 Home Owners Underwater on Mortgages

Nearly a quarter of home owners with a mortgage owe more than their house was worth by the end of last year, according to a report released Tuesday by CoreLogic.

About 11.1 million households or 23.1 percent of home owners were underwater in the October-December quarter of 2010. That number marks an increase compared to the previous quarter where 22.5 percent of home owners–or 10.8 million households–were underwater. What’s more, an additional 2.4 million home owners are inching near being underwater on their mortgages, CoreLogic reports.

Generally, in a stable housing market, about 5 percent of home owners are underwater.

The state with the highest number of underwater mortgages in the country was Nevada, where about two-thirds of home owners had negative home equity. Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and California have up to 50 percent of home owners underwater on mortgages.

Only nine states reported percentages less than 10 percent of underwater mortgages; Oklahoma had the smallest percentage at 5.8 percent.

Source: “Underwater Mortgages Rise as Home Prices Hit Post-Bust Lows in 11 of 20 Major U.S. Cities,” Associated Press (March 8, 2011)

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