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Top 10 areas with lowest, highest rate of underwater homes

CoreLogic: National negative equity levels flat at 24% year-over-year

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The number of homes where borrowers owe more on the mortgage than the house is worth has dropped to about 11.2 million in the first quarter, according to a report by business information company CoreLogic. That's down from 11.3 million at the same time last year, though homes with negative equity (aka "underwater" or "upside down" homes) made up 24 percent of all residences with mortgages both quarters. That share goes up to 28 percent when those with less than 5 percent equity (2.3 million borrowers) are added. "The two most important triggers of default, negative equity and unemployment, have stabilized over the last six months," said Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist, in a statement. "As house prices grow again and borrowers pay down their mortgage debt, negative equity levels will begin to diminish. The typical underwater borrower is likely to regain their lost equity over the next five to seven years." The report was based on data ...