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.