RealtyTrac: R.I. ranks 4th in U.S. for underwater mortgages

Twenty-nine percent of all Rhode Island homes were in serious negative equity during the second quarter, the fourth-highest rate in the country, according to a RealtyTrac report released Thursday. More

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RealtyTrac: R.I. ranks 4th in U.S. for underwater mortgages

Posted 7/24/14

IRVINE, Calif. – Twenty-nine percent of all Rhode Island homes were in serious negative equity during the second quarter, the fourth-highest rate in the country, according to a RealtyTrac report released Thursday.

A home is considered to be “seriously underwater” if its loan-to-value ratio is at or above 125 percent, meaning the homeowner owes at least 25 percent more than the estimated market value of the property.

Nevada ranked as the state with the highest percentage of seriously underwater homes for the three months ended in June, with 32 percent of all mortgaged residential properties in negative equity, followed by Florida and Illinois at 30 percent, Rhode Island at 29 percent and Michigan at 27 percent.

“Home price appreciation has slowed in the last few months in many of the markets with the most underwater homes, slowing the pace at which homeowners are recovering equity lost during the Great Recession,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “In addition many of the properties that are seriously underwater are in a deep negative equity hole that will take some time to dig out of.”

Nationally, 9.1 million U.S. homes were seriously underwater in the second quarter, representing 17.2 percent of all properties with a mortgage, the lowest level since RealtyTrac began reporting negative equity in 2012. In the first quarter this year, 17.4 percent of all mortgages were seriously underwater.

Another 8.8 million properties, or 17 percent, were on the verge of resurfacing equity in the second quarter, RealtyTrac said, meaning the home has between 10 percent negative equity and 10 percent positive equity. During the previous quarter, 8.5 million homes, or 16 percent, were close to regaining lost equity.

RealtyTrac, based in Irvine, Calif., is a leading supplier of U.S. real estate data, with nationwide records for more than 127 million U.S. properties.

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