One in six (17 percent) U.S. homeowners with mortgages – or 8.7 million – were still underwater on their mortgage in the second quarter of 2014, despite rising home values, according to the Zillow Negative Equity Report. This is down from 18.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014, and down from 23.8 percent from last year (Q2 2013).
The effective negative equity rate, or the percentage of homeowners who have less than 20 percent equity in their home, fell to 34.8 percent in the second quarter, down from 36.9 percent from the first quarter of 2014, and down from 41.9 percent last year (Q2 2013). Homeowners with less than 20 percent equity in their current home may have a difficult time covering the costs on selling and purchasing a new property.
Looking ahead, the national negative equity rate is expected to fall to 14.9 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage by the end of the second quarter of 2015, according to the Zillow Negative Equity Forecast.
Of the 35 largest metros covered by Zillow, more than one-fourth of homeowners in Atlanta (28.9 percent), Las Vegas (27.4 percent) and Chicago (27.1 percent) were still underwater on their homes at the end of the second quarter. The lowest rates of negative equity were in San Jose, Calif. (4.6 percent), San Francisco (8.2 percent) and Austin, Tex. (8.3 percent).
Nationally, millennial homeowners held 19.6 percent of all underwater mortgages while Generation X held 18.7 percent and Baby Boomers held 10.9 percent.