real estate

Underwater’ Providence area homes fall

Posted 12/2/11

PROVIDENCE – The percentage of “underwater homes” in the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River area dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 20.8 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to data released by CoreLogic this week.

The California-based real estate tracking firm said 72,305 area homes had outstanding mortgages worth more than the property itself in the third quarter, down from 72,801 in the second quarter.

An additional 13,309 properties, or 3.8 percent, were in “near negative equity” CoreLogic said.

Rhode Island’s rate of underwater homeowners for the quarter came in just below the national average of 22.1 percent.

Rhode Island had the 14th highest underwater rate of any state, with Nevada leading the way at 58 percent negative equity.

“Although slightly down, negative equity remains very high and renders many borrowers vulnerable when negative economic shocks occur, such as job loss or illness, said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic. “The nearly $700 billion mortgage debt overhang has touched many corners of the market, and this overhang is holding back the recovery of the housing market and broader economy."

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