Roughly 7% of U.S. homeowners have negative home equity, and the housing industry is currently in the throes of a "deep recession," according to the chief economist for Global Insight Inc., a forecasting firm.But Global Insight's Nariman Behravesh also said Thursday that the subprime mortgage crisis "is now off the front pages, but more firms could go belly up." Speaking at a forecast conference sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, Mr. Behravesh added that "housing demand is beginning to recover." Even though 7% of mortgages are under water, 60% of homeowners have equity of 30% or more, he said. Outstanding subprime loans account for just 13% to 14% of the total market, according to Global Insight.

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