RealtyTrac® reported today that the percentage U.S. residential properties that are seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value — ticked up to 13.2% percent of all properties with a mortgage in the 2015 first quarter from 12.7% in the 4th quarter of 2014. This was the first increase since RealtyTrac’s records began in 2012.
Markets with the highest percentage of seriously underwater properties in Q1 2015 were Lakeland, Florida, (28.7%), Las Vegas, Nevada (28.4%), Cleveland, Ohio (28.2%), Akron, Ohio (27.2%), Orlando, Florida (26.1%), Tampa, Florida (25.0%), Chicago, Illinois (24.7%), Palm Bay, Florida (24.5%) and Jacksonville, Florida (24.3%).
Markets where the share of distressed properties — those in some stage of foreclosure — that were seriously underwater exceeded 50% in the first quarter of 2015 included Las Vegas, Nevada (57.6%), Lakeland, Florida (55.1%), Cleveland, Ohio (53.1%), Chicago (52.6%), Palm Bay, Florida (52%), Tampa, Florida (51%) and Jacksonville, Florida (49.4%).
The share of equity rich U.S. residential properties with at least 50% positive equity at the end of the first quarter was 19.8%. This is down slightly from Q4 2014 at 20.3%, but up 0.2 percentage points from the first quarter of 2014. Major metro areas with the highest percentage of equity rich properties were San Jose, California (43.7%), San Francisco, California (38.6%), Honolulu, Hawaii (36.2%), Los Angeles, California (32.2%), New York (31.0%), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (29.7%), Poughkeepsie, New York (28.3%), Oxnard, California (27.7%) and San Diego, California (27.0%).
As of the end of the first quarter, 35.1% of all distressed properties — those in some stage of foreclosure — were seriously underwater, up 0.5 percentage points from the 34.6% seriously underwater in the fourth quarter of 2014, but still down from 45.0% seriously underwater in the first quarter of 2014. The share of distressed properties with positive equity (42.1%) surpassed those that were seriously underwater (35.1%) in the first quarter, continuing the trend from previous quarter. Those states with the highest% of distressed properties with positive equity included Colorado (76.1%), Oklahoma (69.8%), Texas (68.1%) and Minnesota (67.9%) and Louisiana (63.8%).