Twenty-four percent of properties in Miami were “seriously underwater” at the end of 2014, according to a RealtyTrac report released Thursday.
Florida ranked first among states nationwide with 410,904, or 17 percent, of properties seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S.Home Equity & Underwater report for the fourth quarter of 2014. Florida is actually down from 1.6 million or 28 percent of properties seriously underwater at the end of the third quarter of 2014, and down further from 1.8 million, or 34 percent, at the end of the 2013.
Meanwhile, Miami tied for fourth place among cities with the most underwater properties at the end of the year. Las Vegas topped the list of cities at 30 percent, with other Florida cities also making the cut: Orlando came in second with 26 percent, Tampa came in third with 25 percent, followed by Jacksonville, Cleveland, Miami and Detroit, each with 24 percent of properties.
Miami also came in seventh among markets for the highest the share of distressed properties that were seriously underwater, with 46 percent. Las Vegas again came in first with 60 percent; Tampa, 52 percent: Jacksonville, 50 percent; Orlando, 49 percent; Chicago, 48 percent and Detroit, 47 percent.
Nationwide, 7.1 million properties were deemed seriously underwater at the end of 2014, representing 13 percent of all properties with a mortgage, according to the report. That’s down from a peak of 12.8 million, representing 29 percent of all homes with a mortgage in the second quarter of 2012.
“Median home prices nationwide bottomed out in March 2012 and since then have increased 35 percent, lifting 5.8 million homeowners out of seriously underwater territory,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, in a statement. “While the remaining seriously underwater properties continue to be a millstone around the neck of some local markets, the growing number of equity rich homeowners should help counteract the downward pull of negative equity in many markets, empowering those housing markets — and by extension their local economies — to walk on water in 2015.”
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