Home price increases helped more homeowners regain some equity in their homes during the second quarter, according to an analysis by Zillow.

Zillow’s Negative Equity Report estimates that 30.9 percent of homeowners with mortgages owed more than their homes were worth at the end of June, down from 31.4 percent at the end of March. That translates into 15.3 million underwater homes — about 400,000 less than three months before.

The report — which compares Zillow’s automated home valuation "Zestimates" for individual homes with actual mortgage loan balance data from TransUnion —  showed all but one of the 30 largest markets tracked by Zillow saw a quarter-over-quarter improvement in their negative equity rate.

Metro areas seeing the greatest quarter-to-quarter percentage point decreases in the negative equity rate were Phoenix (-3.9 percentage points, to 51.6 percent), Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (-2.7 percentage points, to 43.7 percent) and Las Vegas (-2.5 percentage points, to 68.5 percent).

Among those 30 markets, only Philadelphia experienced an increase in its negative equity rate, which was up 0.4 percentage points from March to June. But the city’s 25.4 percent negative equity rate was still well below the national average. Charlotte, N.C. (-0.2 percentage point, to 36.4 percent) and St. Louis (-0.5 percentage point, to 30.2 percent) also failed to best the 0.5 percentage point improvement in the negative equity rate seen at the national level.

Metro area Q1 2012 negative equity rate (homes with mortgages) Q2 2012 negative equity rate (homes with mortgages) Difference in rate from Q1 to Q2
United States 31.40% 30.90% -0.50%
Phoenix 55.50% 51.60% -3.90%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 46.40% 43.70% -2.70%
Las Vegas 71.00% 68.50% -2.50%
Boston 22.00% 19.60% -2.40%
San Jose 22.70% 20.30% -2.40%
San Francisco 30.70% 28.50% -2.20%
Riverside, Calif. 53.40% 51.20% -2.20%
Orlando, Fla. 53.90% 51.90% -2.00%
Sacramento, Calif. 51.20% 49.30% -1.90%
Chicago 41.10% 39.20% -1.90%
Denver 29.00% 27.10% -1.90%
Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas 30.70% 28.90% -1.80%
Seattle 39.60% 37.80% -1.80%
San Diego 35.60% 33.90% -1.70%
Tampa, Fla. 48.30% 46.60% -1.70%
Detroit 49.80% 48.30% -1.50%
Los Angeles 30% 28.60% -1.40%
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. 39.90% 38.70% -1.20%
Cincinnati 31.50% 30.30% -1.20%
Washington, D.C. 32.40% 31.30% -1.10%
Pittsburgh 16.70% 15.60% -1.10%
Portland, Ore. 34.30% 33.20% -1.10%
Cleveland 33.90% 32.90% -1.00%
Atlanta 55.20% 54.40% -0.80%
Columbus, Ohio 34.20% 33.40% -0.80%
New York 21.30% 20.70% -0.60%
Baltimore 31.40% 30.80% -0.60%
St. Louis 30.70% 30.20% -0.50%
Charlotte 36.60% 36.40% -0.20%
Philadelphia 25.00% 25.40% 0.40%

Source: Zillow Inc.

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