11.1M Households Underwater

Number jumps to 23.1% at end of 2010, more likely on way
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2011 7:17 AM CST

(Newser) – Just when it looked like the housing market might be treading water, more American homes slipped underwater at the end of 2010, reports the AP. Now 23.1% of all mortgages, or 11.1 million, outweigh the value of the house they secure—up from 22.5% in the previous quarter. The number of underwater mortgages had fallen in each of the previous three quarters, though the AP cheerily notes that was because many had gone into foreclosure.

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Another 2.4 million mortgages are nearing the tipping point, and prices will likely continue to fall in many markets, pushing them under. Nevada continues to be particularly hard-hit, with some two-thirds of homes underwater; Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan all have about half. In a healthy market, typically 5% are underwater. (Read more underwater stories.)

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