Homeowners in deep: Across US, 1 in 11 mortgaged homes are “seriously underwater”

Things were different in New York and California, which had more "equity rich" ZIP codes
May 10, 2019 03:00PM

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

For months, there have been warning signs of a housing market slowdown, most notably in falling home sales.

But here’s something startling:

One in 11 mortgaged homes in the U.S. is “seriously underwater,” according to Bloomberg, citing a new report from Attom Data Solutions. That means the property owner owes at least 25 percent more than the estimated property value.

Nationwide, that equates to more than 5.2 million homes.

The situation is most pronounced in Milwaukee’s 53206 ZIP code, where 70.1 percent of homes are underwater. Rounding out the top five are ZIP codes in New Jersey, Nebraska and Illinois.

That contrasts with a similar Attom report from November, which revealed that Chicago led the nation in homes in any way underwater, with Miami No. 2 on that list.

But as home values sink in some states, the reverse situation is occurring in other, wealthier parts of the country.

Roughly 408 of the 7,639 U.S. ZIP codes are considered “equity rich,” meaning the loan-to-value ratio is 50 percent or less for more than half the properties in the area.

California, where inventory remains tight, led the list with 295 ZIP codes considered the most equity rich. Within the state, Mountain View’s 94040 ZIP code — Google’s HQ — had the highest percentage.

New York was next with 47 “equity rich” ZIP codes. The state still had some “underwater” areas, however. Among the 316 ZIP codes with at least 2,500 mortgaged homes, 1.7 percent were underwater. Two ZIP codes — one in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan — also held properties that were 25 percent or more “underwater.” [Bloomberg]Natalie Hoberman