RealtyTrac defines a mortgaged home as “seriously underwater” when “the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value.” According to RealtyTrac, 17.2 percent of all mortgaged homes in the US were seriously underwater in Q2 2014. Equity rich properties, i.e. those with at least 50 percent equity, represented 18.8% of all mortgaged homes during that period.
Major metropolitan statistical areas (population 500,000 or more) with the highest percentage of residential properties seriously underwater were Lakeland, Fla (37 percent), Las Vegas (35 percent), Cleveland (35 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla (32 percent), Chicago (30 percent), Cape Coral-Fort Meyers, Fla (30 percent), and New Haven-Milford, CT (30 percent).
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