Where More Than Half of Properties Remain Underwater

November 12, 2018

Underwater View

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The number of equity-rich homeowners has been climbing, but not all are enjoying higher property values. Nearly 9 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage—or more than 4.9 million—are considered “seriously underwater,” according to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm. Properties are underwater when the combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value. The percentage is up slightly year over year from 8.7 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

The highest share of seriously underwater properties are in Louisiana (21.3 percent); Mississippi (16.2 percent); Iowa (15.5 percent); Arkansas (15.3 percent); and Illinois (15.1 percent).

ATTOM Data Solutions reports that in 26 ZIP codes, more than half of all properties are still seriously underwater, including areas in Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Atlantic City, N.J., and Cleveland. The top five ZIP codes with the highest share of seriously underwater properties are: 08611 in Trenton, N.J. (71 percent seriously underwater properties); 63137 in St. Louis (66.5 percent); 60426 in Harvey, Ill. (64.2 percent); 38106 in Memphis, Tenn. (60.7 percent); and 44105 in Cleveland (59.2 percent).