In all the hullabaloo about the (finally!) recovering real estate market, what has gotten less publicity is the fact that millions and millions of homeowners are still languishing with upside-down mortgages.

A recent report from CoreLogic, though, serves as one of the first bright lights on this piece of the housing market puzzle. At the end of 2011, 12.1 million homeowners were upside-down, owing more on their homes than they were worth. But by the end of March 2012, only 11.4 million homeowners were underwater; another full million were within 5 percent of being back in the black.

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