KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market
Real Estate

Ten percent of U.S. homeowners still 'underwater'

The number of homeowners underwater on their mortgage-owing more than their home is currently worth-continues to drop, but a few metros are still facing a disproportionate number of struggling owners.

Nationwide, 10.6 percent-or 5.3 million-of all mortgage holders remain underwater. Still, that marks a big improvement from early 2011 when a third of all mortgage holders were underwater, according to data from Lender Processing Services.

The following metros are seeing the largest number of underwater homeowners:

  • Rockford, Ill.: 32.3 percent
  • Atlanta: 29.4 percent
  • Las Vegas: 27.3 percent
  • Orlando: 26.6 percent

Rockford, Ill., which has the highest number of underwater owners in the country, faces a big foreclosure problem. The city - which once attracted Chicago residents with its lower housing prices - now has about 5,400 vacant housing units, 2,000 of which are abandoned or boarded up. Unemployment in the area also is 11.4 percent-down from 15.7 percent in July 2009 but way above the 7.3 percent national rate.

While new construction in the area has basically come to a halt, the area's home prices are starting to edge upward, mostly driven by investors who are buying homes for cash and renting them out.

Top Stories

  • Trial Beginning
    Twelve Seattle police officers will begin using new body-worn cameras next week

  • Week in Photos
    Penguins, cheetahs and Santa make it in this week's photos
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Listen to the show
Hear Real Estate Today on KIRO Radio
Join Tom Kelly every Sunday at 9am on KIRO Radio to talk Puget Sound real estate.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.