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The Areas Where Homeowners Are Still Underwater

Homeowners are more likely to be equity-rich than seriously underwater in Q3 2019, according to the latest Home Equity & Underwater Report from ATTOM Data Solutions. The report states that 26.7% of all mortgaged properties are equity-rich, a total of 14.4 million properties nationwide. meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50% or less of their estimated market value.

The majority of equity-rich zip codes in the nation (46 out of 50) were concentrated in California, mostly in the San Francisco Bay area.

On the other hand, just 3.5 million homes mortgaged homes in Q3 2019 were underwater, considered seriously underwater, with a combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property at least 25% more than the property’s estimated market value.

“The latest numbers reveal another profound impact of the extended housing boom, as far more homeowners find themselves on the right side of the balance sheet instead of the wrong side. This is a complete turnabout from what was happening when the housing market crashed during the Great Recession,” said Todd Teta, Chief Product Officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “There are notable equity gaps between regions and market segments. But as home values keep climbing, homeowners are seeing their equity building more and more, while those with properties still worth a lot less than their mortgages represent just a small segment of the market.”

With the majority of these equity-rich areas concentrated in California, many states across the country are still filled with underwater mortgages. The highest share of underwater mortgages could be found in the South and Midwest, led by Louisiana (16.5% seriously underwater); Mississippi (15.8%); West Virginia (14.2%); Iowa (14.0%); and Arkansas (13.1%).

Among 8,213 U.S. zip codes with at least 2,000 properties with mortgages, there were 160 zip codes where more than a quarter of all properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater. The largest number of those zip codes were in the Cleveland, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan statistical areas.

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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