Metro Atlanta 2nd worst in underwater homeowners

The percentage of homeowners in metro Atlanta who are underwater on their mortgages declined in the second quarter to 54.4 percent from 55.2 percent in the first quarter, but that’s still much higher than the national average of 30.9 percent, said Zillow, the real estate market information service.

Atlanta ranked 2nd-worst in the U.S. in the percentage of homeowners with mortgages in negative equity in the top 30 markets, Zillow said, besting only Las Vegas which was at 68.5 percent in the second quarter. Pittsburgh was  best in the nation with only 15.6 percent of homeowners underwater.

Some other alarming statistics for metro Atlanta:

– The Atlanta area had 573,016 homes with negative equity, with cumulative negative equity totaling $38.2 billion.

– Among homeowners with with negative equity, 22.2 percent _ one in five _ owe twice what their home is worth.

– The 90-day delinquency rate for all homes with mortgages here is 7.8 percent  (which is lower than the national rate of 9.2 percent.)

Nationwide, the percentage of owners upside down in their homes fell from 31.4 percent last quarter. Still, 15.3 million have houses worth less than the mortgages they owe.

Total negative equity in the U.S. is more than $1 trillion.

Younger home owners have been hit hardest.

“Rising home values in the second quarter caused a decline in the number of underwater borrowers, but young homeowners continue to be disproportionately affected by negative equity,” said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

“We hear about tight inventory in many markets, and it’s clear where this is coming from. Negative equity is trapping young people in their homes, preventing them from selling. These homes are likely the very starter homes potential first-time home buyers are seeking.”

Zillow found that 46 percent of all borrowers under age 40 had negative equity in their homes.

6 comments Add your comment

Ed Patterson

August 23rd, 2012
11:05 am

isn’t it wonderful that wise and considerate people are running the banks in this country supervised by intelligent thinking lawmakers in government service?


August 23rd, 2012
12:12 pm

second worst?? The ATL must seek #1! Rise up! Get samuel jackson to do a commercial!! ATL must be first! Rise up!!!


August 23rd, 2012
3:01 pm

Second in negative equity behind Las Vegas? We should then be able to surmise that Atlanta has a problem. Whether it’s a spending problem, an income problem, a greasy Realtor problem, a me-first mortgage-banker problem, an exodus problem, a job turnover problem, an employment problem, an image problem, an education problem, a housing availability problem, or something less obvious, we may never conclude. I think we can probably assume that we will always have the problem, whatever it is, given all the time, press, discussion and resources so far thrown at the “problem”. I suppose we should be somewhat gratified that Las Vegas, a wildly greasy spot in the desert, takes the top honor in negative home equities.

Tee off

August 23rd, 2012
4:53 pm

Whatever happened to the plan that Obama signed off on allowing people with underwater mortgages to refi to a lower interest rate?? That dissapeared pretty quickly. There’s no way the banks were going to go for that one. They would have lost billions. Well atleast it sounded good when he passed it. It gave us hope.


August 23rd, 2012
8:34 pm

The program is still there, and it works. I changed a 30@6.5% into a 15@4.0%. The ‘catch’ is you have to be current on your mortgage, have a mortgage owned by Fannie or Freddy, and have the income and credit score to qualify for the new loan. It still makes me angry that deadbeats with interest only mortgages and greedy banks have put us all so far under water.

Pays too much

August 24th, 2012
3:47 pm

@Tee off – that program’s great, if your mortgage is owned by Fannie or Freddy. I live with my boyfriend, who is one of those “young homeowners [who] continue to be disproportionately affected”, but since his loan isn’t with either of them, I’m sure it’s a great laugh for the bank when he asks for a refi. Why would they give him one? He pays on time for a loan he took out for nearly twice what the house is now worth, and his only other option would be to nuke his credit and walk away. Ka-ching.