NEW YORK, Sept 13 The number of U.S.
homeowners, who were "underwater" on their mortgages, saw
little change in the second quarter at 22.5 percent, data
analysis company CoreLogic Inc (CLGX.N) said on Tuesday.
The number of properties with so-called negative equity --
where borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes
are worth -- totaled 10.9 million. It was a slight dip from
22.7 percent of homeowners in the first quarter, CoreLogic
A further 2.4 million borrowers had less than 5 percent
equity and were considered to be near-negative equity. Both
negative equity and near-negative equity homes made up 27.5
percent of all residential mortgages.
"High negative equity is holding back refinancing and sales
activity and is a major impediment to the housing market
recovery," Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in
Nearly 75 percent of the homeowners facing this situation
were also paying higher, above-market interest rates on their
mortgages, the report said, as negative equity effectively
precluded refinancing to take advantage of current low rates.
Hard-hit Nevada had the highest percentage of homes that
are "underwater" at 60 percent, followed by Arizona at 49
percent. Florida, Michigan and California rounded out the top
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)