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ATTOM’s recently released Q4 2022 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report shows that 48 percent of mortgaged homes in the U.S. were considered equity-rich in Q4 2022. That figure was down slightly from 48.5 percent in Q3 2022, but still up from 41.9 percent in Q4 2021.

According to the latest home equity and underwater analysis, while the equity-rich levels nationwide remain nearly double what it was three years ago, the drop-off in the last three months of 2022 reversed a string of 10 straight quarterly gains. The ATTOM report found that the portion of equity-rich mortgage-payers went down from Q3 to Q4 2022 in 31 states around the U.S.

The report also shows that despite the new pattern in equity-rich mortgages, just 2.9 percent of mortgaged homes were considered seriously underwater in Q4 2022. That figures was unchanged from 2.9 percent in the prior quarter, and was still down from 3.1 percent, or one in 32 properties, in Q4 2021.

The analysis found that the Midwest and South again had the top 10 states with the highest shares of mortgages that were seriously underwater in the fourth quarter of 2022. According to the report, the top five were Louisiana (10.6 percent seriously underwater), Missouri (7.1 percent); Mississippi (6.8 percent), Illinois (6.3 percent) and Iowa (6.2 percent).

ATTOM’s latest report also shows that the smallest shares were in Vermont (0.9 percent seriously underwater), Rhode Island (1.1 percent), New Hampshire (1.2 percent), Florida (1.2 percent) and Massachusetts (1.3 percent).

The report notes that among the 107 metros with a population greater than 500,000, those with the largest shares of mortgages that were seriously underwater in the fourth quarter of 2022 were Baton Rouge, LA (11 percent); New Orleans, LA (7.8 percent); Jackson, MS (7.5 percent); Syracuse, NY (6.6 percent) and Scranton, PA (6.3 percent).

Also according to the report, while most seriously underwater rates around the country changed by less than one percentage point from Q3 to Q4 2022, the portion increased in 77 percent of the metro areas analyzed. However, seriously underwater rates remained down annually in 66 percent of those metros.

In this post, we dig into the data behind the latest ATTOM home equity and underwater report to uncover the top 10 U.S. counties with the largest shares of seriously underwater properties in Q4 2022.

Those counties include: Baltimore City County, MD (7.3 percent); Philadelphia County, PA (7.1 percent); Cook County, IL (6.9 percent); Cuyahoga County, OH (6.3 percent); Milwaukee County, WI (5.6 percent); Wayne County, MI (5.4 percent); Lake County, IL (5.2 percent); Summit County, OH (5.2 percent); Saint Louis County, MO (4.9 percent); and Montgomery County, OH (4.9 percent).

ATTOM Chart on Top 10 Counties with Greatest Shares of Seriously Underwater Mortgages - Q4 2022

The latest home equity and underwater report also shows that among 8,721 U.S. zip codes with at least 2,000 homes with mortgages in Q4 2022, there were only 23 locations where more than 25 percent of mortgaged properties were seriously underwater – of those, seven were in Cleveland, OH, and Columbia, MO.

ATTOM’s home equity and underwater report defines equity-rich properties as those where combined estimated amount of loan balances secured by those properties was no more than 50 percent of their estimated market values. The report defines seriously underwater properties as those that had a combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property of at least 25 percent more than the property’s estimated market value.

Want to see how your area fares in equity-rich or underwater properties share? Contact us to find out how!

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