These Cities Have the Highest Rates of Negative Home Equity

The number of properties with negative equity in the U.S. is slowly decreasing since reaching a peak in 2012, when the country saw 12.8 million homes underwater, according to a recent analysis.

Since then, those properties have decreased by more than 6.1 million and now sit at 6.6 million as of the end of the second quarter of 2016, according to the Q2 2016 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report from ATTOM Data Solutions, parent company of RealtyTrac.

“Rising home prices are lifting all home equity boats: bailing out seriously underwater homeowners and enriching homeowners who already have positive equity,” Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, said in a prepared statement.


Nationwide home prices reached a new all-time high in June on the heels of 52 consecutive months of annual increases, Blomquist added.

“While that national trend is consistent in most markets across the country, there are still some local markets and sub-markets that have been largely left behind by the housing recovery and which still have a high percentage of being underwater homeowners,” he said.

From the first quarter to the second quarter of 2016, there was a decrease of 37,235 homes underwater and decreased by 776,958 since this time last year, the report found.

Cities in the country with a population of 500,000 or more with the highest percentage of underwater homes include Cleveland, Ohio at 27.5%; Las Vegas at 25.7%; Akron, Ohio at 24.9%; Dayton, Ohio at 24.1%; and Toledo, Ohio at 23.6%.

The report also found that homes with lower property values have a higher percentage of going underwater. For properties that are valued at $100,000, there’s 34.4% of them that go underwater, but for homes $750,000 and over, only 4.9% of them go underwater.

Those cities with the lowest share of seriously underwater properties were in San Jose, Calif., at 1.7%; San Francisco, Calif., at 3.7%; Portland, Ore., at 3.9%; Austin, Texas, at 3.9%; and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif., at 4.1%.

View the full RealtyTrac report to see which other housing markets are seriously underwater nationwide.

Written by Alana Stramowski

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  • Of the five cities with the highest percentage of homes underwater, four were in Ohio and one in the far west. Of the five with lowest percentage of home underwater, 4 were on or near the Pacific Coast and the other a few hundred miles from the western end of the Gulf.

    After eight years since the start of the Great Housing Recession of 2008, we still see the ravages of years of low percentages of working US adults in the population and a now notorious non-recovery recovery. Homeowners in our rust belt and other Mid West states still suffer from the loss of home appreciation due to the lack of sufficient livable wage jobs for those who would normally be first time home buyers at this stage in life.

    Those who say vote your pocketbook are now more right than at any other time in recent memory. The era full of hope did not achieve much. It is now the time for a change in direction.

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