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RealtyTrac today released its Year-End 2015 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. The report found that at the end of 2015, seriously underwater properties were down 481,292 from 6.9 million in the third quarter and 616,189 from 7.1 million from a year prior.


  • Closing out 2015, 6.4 million (6,436,381) U.S. homes were seriously underwater– about 25 percent were underwater– representing 11.5 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage
  • There were 12.6 million (12,621,274) U.S. homes that were equity rich, or at least 50 percent equity. This represents 22.5 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage.
  • At of the end of 2015, 49.7 percent of all homes in foreclosure had some equity, marking the highest percentage since Q3 2013– when RealtyTrac began tracking.
    • This is up from 43.3 percent of all homes in foreclosure with equity at the end of the third quarter of 2015.
    • At the end of 2014, 34.6 percent of homes were equity rich.


Chicago specifically has an over abundance of foreclosure properties. The city ranks among the top markets with a high percentage of foreclosures.

In Chicago, 46.7 percent of foreclosed homes are seriously underwater.

The city ranks among others such as Las Vegas, Lakeland, Fla., Cleveland and Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla.

In Cook County, RealtyTrac reported of the 2,176,266 properties, about 52.3 percent are seriously underwater.

On a state-wide basis, Illinois had 32 percent of homes with equity and 45.2 percent of foreclosures are underwater.