NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of U.S. homeowners underwater on their mortgages was little changed in the second quarter at 22.5 percent, data analysis company CoreLogic Inc 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 said.
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 a statement.
Nearly 75 percent of underwater homeowners were also paying higher, above-market interest rates on their mortgages, the report said.
Hard-hit Nevada had the highest percentage of underwater homes at 60 percent, followed by Arizona at 49 percent. Florida, Michigan and California rounded out the top five.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr