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Where Negative Equity is Concentrated

Nationwide, the negative equity share for the fourth quarter of 2019 was 3.5% of all homes with a mortgage, the lowest share of homes with negative equity since the third quarter of 2009 according to CoreLogic's latest Equity Report. By state, the largest negative equity share was in Louisiana, with 9.8% of mortgages with negative equitymore than twice the national average.

Behind Louisiana, Connecticut (7.1%) and Illinois (7%) rounded out the top three states with the highest negative equity shares. States with high negative equity shares have experienced low home price appreciation. While Florida makes the top ten list for negative equity share, that state saw a large year-over-year decline in negative equity share, falling from 6.2% in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 4.8% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Louisiana also topped ATTOM Data Solution's Q4 Home Equity & Underwater Reportlist of seriously underwater homes, with 16.8% seriously underwater. Louisiana was followed by Mississippi (16.0%, West Virginia (13.9%), Iowa (13.5%) and Arkansas (12.9%). Similarly, states with the lowest percentage of equity-rich properties were Louisiana (13.6% equity-rich), Oklahoma (14.9%), Illinois (15.3%), Arkansas (16.3%) and Alabama (16.5%).

According to CoreLogic, the amount of equity in mortgaged real estate increased by $489 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019 from the fourth quarter of 2018, an annual increase of 5.4%. Borrower equity hit a new high in the fourth quarter of 2019, and borrowers have gained over $6 trillion in equity since the end of 2011 when equity stopped declining. Years of home price increases have led to record-levels of home equity and pick up in price gains in the fourth quarter of 2019 boosted home-equity wealth further.

On the metro level, San Francisco has the largest average amount of negative equity, but the negative equity share is only 0.7%. Miami has the smallest average amount of negative equity, but has a negative equity share of 8.5%, which is more than double the national rate.

Additionally, the number of underwater properties decreased by 330,000 from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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