When it comes to the overall health of the housing market, there is a bit of a good news/bad news thing going on. Here’s the good news: the number of homeowners who are seriously underwater (meaning they owe at least 125 percent of the value of their home) has fallen to 6.7 million at the end of the first quarter of 2016, or 12 percent of all mortgages, according to MarketWatch.
While that may still seem like a lot, it is a huge improvement over the 28.6 percent witnessed at the peak of the housing crisis in 2012. In addition, the number of seriously underwater homeowners keeps falling steadily, as the most recent totals were 638,000 lower than in the first quarter of 2015.
But then comes the bad news: such strong improvement is not occurring everywhere. In places like Columbus, Ohio, the share of homeowners who owed more than 125 percent the value of their home actually increased 18 percent. In Charlotte, N.C., it has jumped 17 percent.
The states with the highest share of homes with a mortgage at least 25 percent (not quite as bad as the 125 percent) more than the home value are Nevada (22.6 percent), Illinois (22.3 percent), Ohio (20.8 percent), Florida (18.8 percent), and Michigan (17.7 percent).
Additionally, 98 percent of homes that are seriously underwater are not in the foreclosure process, but 28.8 percent of homes in foreclosure are seriously underwater.