Data from ATTOM Data Solutions shows that as of the end of the first quarter of 2017 there were nearly 5.5 million (5,497,771) U.S. properties seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property was at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value — up from 5.4 million seriously underwater properties in Q4 2016 but still down by more than 1.2 million from the 6.7 million seriously underwater properties in Q1 2016.
The 5.5 million seriously underwater properties at the end of Q1 2017 represented 9.7 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage, up from 9.6 percent in Q4 2016 but down from 12.0 percent in Q1 2016.
The report is based on publicly recorded mortgage and deed of trust data collected and licensed by ATTOM Data Solutions nationwide along with an industry standard automated valuation model (AVM) updated monthly in the ATTOM Data Warehouse of more than 150 million U.S. properties.
“While negative equity continued to trend steadily downward in the first quarter, it remains stubbornly high in often-overlooked pockets of the housing market,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “For example, we continue to see one in five properties seriously underwater in several Rust Belt cities along with Las Vegas and central Florida. Additionally, close to one-third of homes valued below $100,000 are still seriously underwater.
“Several of the cities with the biggest quarterly increases in underwater properties saw a corresponding increase in share of distressed sales in the first quarter, creating a drag on overall home values, and in the case of Baton Rouge that increase in distressed sales may be in part attributable to the catastrophic flooding there in August 2016,” Blomquist noted. “Across the country, the share of seriously underwater homes was higher in high-risk flood zones.”