For individual homeowners, being “underwater” on a mortgage—when a home is worth less than outstanding debt, also known as “negative equity”—is one of the worst positions to be in, short of foreclosure. However, if you're currently underwater on a mortgage, you're not alone.
Zillow.com, a firm that compiles U.S. real estate and mortgage information, has put together a list of the 154 largest metro areas that includes statistics on median home values, market changes, and the proportion of homes with negative equity.
Included in the data is the “Zillow Home Value Index,” which represents the median measure of home valuations. According to Zillow, the current median U.S. home price is $171,600, down 6.2 percent year-over-year. More than one in four (26.8 percent) of U.S. homes are underwater, which is down from 28.4 percent last quarter, according to Zillow. Although home values declined year-over-year in 142 out of 154 markets, Zillow’s Chief Economist Stan Humphries predicts that the true bottom for home prices in the U.S. will come in 2012, at the earliest, based upon factors such as foreclosures, negative equity, and fluctuations in demand.
So, which metro areas have the highest proportion of homes underwater? Click ahead for the results.
By Paul Toscano
Posted 9 Aug 2011