Five years after the housing recovery began, 5.9 million borrowers still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
The so-called negative equity rate in the U.S. is falling, now at 12 percent of all mortgaged homeowners, according to Zillow, down from more than 14 percent a year ago and more than 30 percent at the worst of the crisis. The numbers, however, are still well above normal levels and equally spread across urban and suburban communities.
It would seem like negative equity should have evaporated by now, given how fast home prices have been rising. Several metropolitan markets have even reached new record highs in median home prices, but it hasn't been enough to lift all borrowers.