Number of ‘Underwater’ Home Owners Grows

In the third quarter, the number of U.S. home owners who owe more than their homes are currently worth continued to rise, according to new housing data by Zillow Inc.

Borrowers with negative equity on their homes increased to 28.6 percent — that’s up from 26.8 percent in the second quarter and 23.2 percent a year prior.

“We still have very high negative equity rates; that’s putting extreme pressure on households because temporary job losses translate into foreclosures at much higher rates when the household is in negative equity,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, told Bloomberg.

Zillow also reported that home values dropped from the previous three months in 105 of the 157 housing markets it tracks, according to its most recent Home Value Index. The cities bucking the trend and posting some of the largest gains were Detroit, Boston, Denver, and Pittsburgh, according to the index.

Source: “U.S. ‘Underwater’ Home Owners Increase to 28.6%, Zillow Reports,” Bloomberg (Nov. 8, 2011)

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