Fewer Chicago Area Homes are Underwater

December 14, 2010

The amount of Chicago area homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth fell for the third straight quarter.

According to a report released by housing data provider CoreLogic, 22.3 percent of homes in the Chicago area were underwater from July through September, a decrease from 22.7 percent in the second quarter.

In Illinois, 19.7 percent of homes, or more than 440,000, had negative equity in the third quarter.

Nationwide, about 10.8 million U.S. homes had mortgages with negative equity. That’s about 22.5 percent of all homes in the country; a decrease from 11 million or 23 percent of all homes in the second quarter.

The number of borrowers that are upside down has gone down by more than 500,000 homeowners this year, though experts say the decline is mainly due to an increase in foreclosures, not home values.

“Negative equity is a primary factor holding back the housing market and broader economy. The good news is that negative equity is slowly declining, but the bad news is that price declines are accelerating, which may put a stop to or reverse the recent improvement in negative equity,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic.

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