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Nearly 22 Percent of Ohio Homeowners Have Underwater Mortgages

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Nearly 22 Percent of Ohio Homeowners Have Underwater MortgagesNew data from the mortgage tracking firm CoreLogic showed that 21.9 percent of homeowners in Ohio had underwater mortgages – those with balances that are higher than the value of the property – at the end of the first quarter, according to a report from the Columbus Dispatch. That was up from the 21.6 percent observed at the end of 2010. The average Ohioan with an underwater mortgage owes just $31,000 more than the home is worth, which is the lowest total in the nation.

In addition, this rate is still lower than the 22.7 percent national average, though that is driven largely by states that have severe problems in the mortgage market. Nevada led the nation in the rate of underwater mortgages at 62.3 percent, astronomical even by the standards of the second-highest rate, Arizona’s 49.6 percent. Florida rounded out the top three at 46.1 percent.

Meanwhile, New York had the lowest underwater mortgage rate in the nation at 6.2 percent, while Oklahoma and North Dakota were not far behind at 6.5 and 6.9 percent, respectively, the report said.

Underwater mortgages are often a problem in areas where foreclosure rates are high, as unoccupied houses tend to drive down the property values of those surrounding them.

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