Nearly one out of three homes sold in the last year was sold at a loss, and an estimated one in seven U.S. homeowners were "upside down" on their loans at the end of September, according an analysis of public records in 163 markets by Zillow.

Zillow estimates that the percentage of borrowers upside down — owing more on their mortgage than their home was worth — was even higher among those who bought in the last five years: 29.5 percent.

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