“Underwater” households spike

October 08, 2008 12:50AM

Of the 75.5 million U.S. homeowners, about 12 million, or 16 percent, are “underwater,” meaning they owe more on their mortgage than the home is worth, according to Moody’s Economy.com. This figure has soared from 6 percent in 2007 and 4 percent in 2006, making an increase in foreclosures likely to come. Homeowners who purchased in the past five years are even worse off — 29 percent of them owe more than the value of their home. In contrast, 40 million owe less than the value of their home, and 24 million have 100 percent equity in their residence.

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