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 from 47 million mortgaged properties, accounting for more than 85 percent of all mortgages in the country, the company said. A property’s estimated current value (per First American CoreLogic’s Automated Valuation Models) was subtracted from outstanding mortgage debt (from public records) to obtain a property’s equity level.

Not enough data was available to include equity levels in Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming, the company reported.

The U.S. negative equity rate: 23.7 percent (11.3 million out of 47.7 million mortgages)

Top 10 states with the highest negative equity rates:

1. Nevada: 69.9 percent (418,543 out of 599,128)

2. Arizona: 51.2 percent (690,578 out of 1.3 million)

3. Florida: 47. 7 percent (2.2 million out of 4.5 million)

4. Michigan: 38.6 percent (533,249 out of 1.4 million)

5. California: 34.1 percent (2.3 million out of 6.9 million)

6. Georgia 28.7 percent (457,652 out of 1.6 million)

7. Idaho: 23.7 percent (57,093 out of 240,613)

8. Virginia: 23.6 percent (293,825 out of 1.2 million)

9. Maryland: 22.8 percent (309,568 out of 1.4 million)

10. Utah: 21.1 percent (99,030 out of 470,205)

Note: California also has the highest negative equity rate by volume of all the states covered.

Top 10 states with lowest negative equity rates:

1. Oklahoma: 5.9 percent (23,724 out of 402,187)

2. New York: 7 percent (127,765 out of 1.8 million)

3. Montana 7.3 percent (8,048 out of 109,940)

4. Pennsylvania: 7.4 percent (132,307 out of 1.8 million)

5. North Dakota: 8 percent (3,603 out of 45,310)

6. Kentucky: 8.8 percent (23,800 out of 270,671)

7. Alabama: 9.1 percent (30,384 out of 334,535)

8. Iowa: 9.1 percent (28,618 out of 314,963)

9. Nebraska 9.4 percent (20,650 out of 219,821)

10. Hawaii: 9.8 percent (22,594 out of 230,246)

Note: North Dakota also has the lowest negative equity rate by volume of all the states covered.

Top 10 metro areas with the highest negative equity rates:

1. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.: 74.7 percent

2. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.: 57.5 percent

3. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.: 55.1 percent

4. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.: 53.5 percent

5. Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla.: 53.1 percent

6. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla.: 50.4 percent

7. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.: 48.1 percent

8. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich.: 46.8 percent

9. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla.: 45.3 percent

10. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif.: 44.8 percent

Note: The Phoenix metro area also has the highest negative equity rate by volume of all the metro areas covered.

Top 10 metro areas with the lowest negative equity rates:

1. Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y.: 5.4 percent

2. Pittsburgh, Pa.: 5.9 percent

3. Philadelphia, Pa.: 7.5 percent

4. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Conn.: 9.9 percent

5. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas: 9.9 percent

6. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.: 9.9 percent

7. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas: 10.4 percent

8. New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J.: 11 percent

9. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.: 11.5 percent

10. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.: 11.5 percent

Note: Pittsburgh also has the lowest negative equity rate by volume of all the metro areas covered.


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