CoreLogic released yesterday negative equity data showing that 11.1 million, or 23.1 percent, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 10.8 million, or 22.5 percent, in the third quarter.
The small increase reflects the price declines that occurred during the fourth quarter and led to lower values. An additional 2.4 million borrowers had less than five percent equity, referred to as near-negative equity, in the fourth quarter. Together, negative equity and near-negative equity mortgages accounted for 27.9 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide.
“Negative equity holds millions of borrowers captive in their homes, unable to move or sell their properties,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic. “Until the high level of negative equity begins to recede, the housing and mortgage finance markets will remain very sluggish.”
At 118 percent, Nevada had the highest average loan-to-value (LTV) ratios for properties with a mortgage, followed by Arizona (95 percent), Florida (91 percent), Michigan (84 percent), and Georgia (81 percent). New York had the lowest LTV at 50 percent, followed by Hawaii (54 percent), District of Columbia (58 percent), Connecticut (60 percent), and North Dakota (60 percent).
The aggregate level of negative equity increased to $751 billion in Q4, up from $744 billion last quarter but still below $800 billion a year ago.