One in five U.S. mortgage borrowers are underwater: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
One in five U.S. mortgage borrowers are underwater
Wednesday March 4, 8:55 am ET
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) - One in five U.S. homeowners with mortgages owe more to their lenders than their properties are worth, and the rate will increase as housing values drop in states that have so far avoided the worst of the crisis, a new study shows.
About 8.31 million properties had negative equity at the end of 2008, up 9 percent from 7.63 million at the end of September, according to the study, released Wednesday by First American CoreLogic. The percentage of "underwater" borrowers rose to 20 percent from 18 percent.
Another 2.16 million properties could go underwater if home prices fall another 5 percent, the study shows.
First American said the value of residential properties fell to $19.1 trillion at year-end from $21.5 trillion a year earlier, with half the decline in California. Forty-three U.S. states and Washington, D.C., were included in the study.