Fewer Homes Underwater, but Some Areas Have a Big Problem: Attom

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While the rate of homeowners who owed more on their home than what it is worth decreased nationwide, there were 17 neighborhoods with a large percentage of underwater homeowners.

Overall, 6,063,326 U.S. homeowners were seriously underwater as of the end of the third quarter of 2016, according to a report from Attom Data Solutions. This represents 10.8% of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage and a decrease of more than 854,000 homeowners from a year ago.

In 17 ZIP codes across the country, two-thirds or more of homeowners were seriously underwater on their properties, with a loan-to-value ratio of 125% or higher, Attom said. And not all of those neighborhoods were located in cities with notably high underwater rates.

Even though six of the areas were located in Detroit, which has one of the overall highest underwater rates in the United States, some were in metropolitan areas like Trenton, N.J., Milwaukee, St. Louis and East Stroudsberg, Penn., that don't have notably high shares of such homeowners.

In addition to Detroit, six cities have underwater rates above 20%: Las Vegas, Akron, Ohio, Cleveland, Toledo, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. Other metropolitan areas with a large share of underwater homeowners include Chicago and Kansas City.

On the other end of the spectrum, 13,125,367 U.S. homeowners are equity rich with an a 50% LTV or lower, representing 23.4% of all homeowners. This figure grew by more than 2.6 million from a year ago.

Among the cities with the highest percentage of equity rich homeowners are San Jose, Calif., San Francisco and Honolulu.

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