24 Percent of U.S. Homes Underwater
The number of residential properties nationwide with mortgages that were "underwater" at the end of 2009 rose by 3 million over year-end 2008, according to a First American CoreLogic report released Feb. 23. An additional 620,000 properties fell into negative equity in the fourth quarter alone, bringing to 11.3 million (or 24 percent) the 2009 total. That marks an uptick from the 23 percent represented by the 10.7 million underwater mortgages at the end of the third quarter, according to MSN Money.
Overall, the problem loans remain concentrated in five states: Nevada, with 70 percent of home mortgages underwater; followed by Arizona, with 51 percent underwater; Florida at 48 percent; Michigan at 39 percent; and California at 35 percent. Those states were in stark contrast with the lowest three: Iowa with 9 percent of home mortgages, New York with 6.3 percent and Oklahoma with 6 percent, according to MSN Money.
California (2.4 million) and Florida (2.2 million) have the largest number of negative equity mortgages, accounting for 41 percent of all negative equity loans, according to MSN Money.
Despite bleak findings in the First American CoreLogic report, a Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller report released Feb. 23 showed that home prices increased modestly in December. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.3 percent in December, the index's seventh consecutive monthly increase, MSN Money reported.