Seriously Underwater Homes Still a Big Issue

With home prices on the rise, more home values are climbing up above water, but in a few cities, the number of seriously underwater homes is still alarming.

Profile of Seriously Underwater Homes

The following are some characteristics of properties that are seriously underwater, according to ATTOM Data Solution’s report.

  • 8% of properties with an estimated market value of $100,000 or less were seriously underwater; 9.3% of properties valued between $100,000 and $300,000 were; 5% of properties between $300,000 and $750,000 were underwater; and 4.8% of properties valued above $750,000.
  • 5% of non-owner occupied investment properties with a mortgage were underwater compared to 7 percent of owner-occupied properties.
  • 5% of properties in high-risk flood zones were seriously underwater while 9.6% of properties not in a high-risk flood zone were seriously underwater.

Source: RealtyTrac

Nearly 5.5 million U.S. properties, or 9.7 percent of all properties, were considered seriously underwater in the first quarter of this year. That number is down by more than 1.2 million from the 6.7 million seriously underwater in the first quarter of 2016, according to ATTOM Data Solution’s First Quarter 2017 Home Equity & Underwater Report.

“While negative equity continued to trend steadily downward in the first quarter, it remains stubbornly high in often-overlooked pockets in the housing market,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “For example, we continue to see one in five properties seriously underwater in several Rust Belt cities along with Las Vegas and central Florida. Additionally, close to one-third of homes valued below $100,000 are still seriously underwater.”

Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Akron, Ohio, posted the highest share of seriously underwater properties in the nation during the first quarter.

On a metro level, the areas with populations of at least 500,000 that had the highest share of seriously underwater properties at the end of the first quarter were:

  1. Cleveland: 22.9%
  2. Las Vegas: 22.1%
  3. Akron, Ohio: 20.3%
  4. Dayton, Ohio: 20.3%
  5. Toledo, Ohio: 20%
  6. Baton Rouge, La.: 19.7%
  7. Detroit: 17.1%
  8. Chicago: 16.4%
  9. Lakeland, Fla.: 16.2%
  10. St. Louis: 15.3%

Source: RealtyTrac