Nationwide underwater rate falls, but several metro areas are still playing catch-up

by Ryan Smith19 Aug 2016
The percentage of underwater homes edged down slightly in the second quarter, largely due to rising home prices, according to new data from ATTOM Data Solutions.

According to ATTOM’s Q2 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report, there were 6,666,622 seriously underwater properties in the U.S. in the second quarter – 11.9% of all properties with a mortgage. That’s down slightly from Q1’s 12% and a drop from 13.3% in the second quarter of 2015.

“Rising home prices are lifting all home equity boats, bailing out seriously underwater homeowners and enriching homeowners who already have positive equity, said Daren Blomquist, ATTOM senior vice president. “Nationwide home prices reached a new all-time high in June on the heels of 52 consecutive months of annual increases. While that national trend is consistent in most markets across the country, there are still some local markets and sub-markets that have been largely left behind by the housing recovery and which still have a high percentage of underwater homeowners.”

Several metropolitan areas in Ohio, for example, had high percentages of underwater homeowners in the second quarter. Out of the top five metro areas with the highest underwater rates, only one – Las Vegas – wasn’t in Ohio. Cleveland had the highest rate of underwater homeowners at 27.5%, followed by Las Vegas (25.7%), Akron, Ohio (24.9%), Dayton, Ohio (24.1%), and Toledo, Ohio (23.6%).

Despite the preponderance of Ohio cities with high underwater rates, on a statewide basis both Nevada and Illinois had higher underwater rates at 22.2% and 22.1%, respectively. Ohio had a statewide underwater rate of 20.9%, followed by Indiana (18.6%) and Missouri (18.2%).

Meanwhile, San Jose, Calif., had the lowest underwater rate at 1.7%, followed by San Francsico (3.7%), Portland, Oregon (3.9%), Austin, Texas (3.9%), and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif. (4.1%).


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