Monday, April 21, 2014

Florida Ranks #2 In Underwater Homes

MELBOURNE, Florida -- Florida ranks No. 2 in the highest rate of seriously underwater residential properties with Nevada taking the No. 1 spot, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the first quarter of 2014.

31% of Florida residential properties are seriously underwater compared to Nevada at 34%, No. 3 Illinois at 30%, and No. 4 Michigan at 29%.  The U.S. national average was 17%, down from 26% a year ago.

Brevard County on Florida's Space Coast ranked the third highest of metropolitan areas in the U.S. with 35% of homes seriously underwater.  The top 5 metro areas seriously under water are:

1. Las Vegas, Nevada  37%.  
2. Lakeland, Florida 36%.  
3. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville (Florida's Space Coast) 35%
3. Cleveland, Ohio 35%
4. Akron, Ohio 34%
5. Detroit, Michigan 33%

RealtyTrac defines homes as "seriously underwater" where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value.

“U.S. homeowners are continuing to recover equity lost during the Great Recession, but the pace of that recovering equity slowed in the first quarter, corresponding to slowing home price appreciation,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Slower price appreciation means the 9 million homeowners seriously underwater could still have a long road back to positive equity."