Negative equity kept inching down in the first quarter, but there are still concentrations of underwater homes twice as high as the national average, CoreLogic's latest report shows.
"One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means mortgage risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices," said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft in a press release.
The total number of homes with negative equity dropped 3% from revised fourth-quarter 2016 figures to 3.1 million, or 6.1% of all mortgaged properties.
Consecutive-quarter decreases in negative equity have been slower since the second quarter of last year, but seasonal slowness may have contributed to this trend.
Negative equity was down more considerably from the first quarter a year ago, when 4 million properties were underwater.
"Homeowner equity increased by over $750 billion during the last year, the largest increase since mid-2014," said CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell in a press release.
However, in certain metropolitan regions the concentration of underwater homes remains in low double-digit percentages.
"Pockets of concern remain with markets such as Miami, Las Vegas and Chicago, which are the top three for negative equity among large metros, with each recording a negative equity share at least twice or more the national average," Nothaft said.
The Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla., metropolitan area's negative equity share was the highest at 15.7%; the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev., share of mortgaged, underwater homes was 14.2%; and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Ill., share of mortgage properties with negative equity was 12%.