Monday , 2 October 2023

3.1 Million Homes Owe More On Their Mortgage Than Their Home Is Worth (+2K Views)

The peak of the Great Recession in 2009 saw 10.7 million US mortgages fall underwater, roughly onereal-estate-9 in four. Fast forward eight years, and recovering home prices have pulled the majority above water (or they’ve foreclosed). [That being said, however,] the latest CoreLogic mortgage equity analysis shows that a significant number of mortgages remain below water…

The comments above and below are from the original article, written by, which has been edited ([ ]) and abridged (…) to a limited degree by to give a faster and easier read.

3.1 Million US Mortgages Are Under Water

The number of homes with negative equity in the U.S. is still high, but the numbers are improving. At the end of the first quarter in 2017, 3.1 million homes owed more on their mortgage than the home was worth. This number improved from the previous quarter, with 91,000 homes regaining equity. The total number of mortgages underwater in the U.S. still stands at 6.1%.

Quarter Mortgages Underwater (in millions)
Q1 2014 6.3
Q2 2014 5.4
Q3 2014 5.2
Q4 2014 5.3
Q1 2015 5.1
Q2 2015 4.5
Q3 2015 4.2
Q4 2015 4.2
Q1 2016 4.1
Q2 2016 3.6
Q3 2016 3.2
Q4 2016 3.2
Q1 2017
Source: CoreLogic.

The total dollar value of negative equity was still quite large however. It would take US$283 billion in payments (or rising home values) to bring these loans above water. This is an improvement from the same time last year, when the total stood $21.6 billion higher at US$304.5 billion. While the number is still large, the 7.1% reduction is nothing to sneeze at. The decrease is being attributed to rising property values.

7.7 Million Mortgages Are Under Equity

Under equity mortgages, those with less than 20% equity in the home, still represented a large risk. 7.7 million mortgages in the U.S. were under-equitied at the end of the first quarter, which represented 15.1%. 800,000 of those homes were near-negative, which means they had less than 5% equity. These mortgages are better quality than the negative-equities ones, but not by much.

Five Metro Areas With The Highest Percent of Negative Equity

CoreLogic also updated their list of major metropolitan markets with the highest ratio of mortgages with negative equity.

  1. Miami topped the list with 15.7% of mortgages with negative equity, which adds up to over 68k by our count.
  2. Next was Las Vegas with 14.2%, which is over 57k mortgages.
  3. Chicago is just after with 12% of mortgages with negative equity, which added up to a massive 162,000.
  4. Washington had 8% (85k) of mortgages with negative equity and
  5. New York City rounds out the bottom with 5.3% (86k).

Top 5 US Cities By Ratio of Negative Equity Mortgages

Areas Mortgages Underwater
Las Vegas, NV 57,652
Miami, FL 68,609
Washington, DC 85,040
New York, NY 86,284
Chicago, IL 162,240
(Metropolitian areas include surrounding suburbs. Las Vegas: Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV; Miami: Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL; Washington: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VAMD-WV; New York: New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ; Chicago: Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL; Source: CoreLogic, Calculations: Better Dwelling.)

Recovering property values are finally allowing American homeowners to break even. Good for those that waited it out, although eight years of payments to break even is a rough journey.

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