Las Vegas Sun

July 24, 2014

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THE ECONOMY:

Report: 58.2 percent of Las Vegas homes have negative equity

Number of homes with upside down mortgages expected to grow

Fifty-eight percent of Las Vegas homes with a mortgage are underwater and that number is likely to grow, according to a report released today by First American CoreLogic.

While 234,538, or 58.2 percent, of all Las Vegas properties with a mortgage are in negative equity, an additional 14,088 mortgages, or 3.5 percent, are near that point, the firm noted. That brings the total to 61.7 percent of all outstanding mortgages, the report said.

The increase does not bode well for the Las Vegas housing market. It makes it more likely people will walk away from their homes and let them fall into foreclosure, further depressing home prices.

As for states, Nevada was ranked No. 1 in the nation and well above the national average with 55 percent in the state, the firm reported.

Negative equity is also referred to as underwater or upside down and means borrowers owe more on their mortgage than the home is worth.

More than 8.3 million U.S. mortgages, or 20 percent of all properties with a mortgage, are underwater as of Dec. 31, the firm reported. About 700,000 more properties became upside down in 2008’s fourth quarter, and 2.2 million more are approaching that point, the firm noted.

Michigan was ranked second in the nation with a negative equity share of 40 percent, Arizona was third at 32 percent and Florida and California were tied for fourth at 30 percent.

The average loan to value ratio for properties with a mortgage in Nevada was 97 percent, or less than $8,000 in equity, leaving the typical mortgaged homeowner with virtually no cushion for the rapidly declining home values, the firm reported.

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