Are DC area homeowners still underwater on mortgages?

WASHINGTON — The number of homeowners with a mortgage in negative equity continues to decline nationwide, but CoreLogic says 7.2 percent of homeowners with a mortgage in the D.C. area are still underwater.

While that is an improvement from 9.6 percent in the second quarter of 2016, the D.C. region still has one of the highest negative equity rates among big cities.

In a state-by-state comparison that includes the District, D.C. homeowners are faring much better, with a negative equity rate of 3.51 percent. CoreLogic says homeowners in D.C. have increased their home equity by an average of almost $16,000 in the last year.

Nationwide, there are 2.8 million homeowners who remain underwater on their mortgages — 5.4 percent of all mortgaged properties — owing the bank more than for what they could sell their homes. That’s down nearly 22 percent from a year earlier, when 7.1 percent of all mortgaged properties were in negative equity.

The lowest negative equity rate in the nation is in one of the most expensive housing markets. In San Francisco, just 0.6 percent of mortgaged properties are in negative equity, largely because prices have risen so quickly there.

Miami and Las Vegas have the highest negative equity rates in the nation, at 14.7 percent and 12.2 percent.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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