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Fewer Chicago area homes ‘under water’

Updated: September 12, 2012 1:56PM

Fewer homes in the Chicago metropolitan area and the state were under water on their mortgages in the second quarter, part of a national trend, according to the latest report from CoreLogic.

The number of homes with so-called upside-down mortgages, where the borrowers owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth, fell to 460,684, or 30.1 percent of homes with mortgages in the Chicago area in the second quarter. That was down from 503,574, or 32.7 percent in the first quarter. It also was a decline from 474,561, or 30.7 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

Statewide, 576,822 homes had upside down mortgages, or 25.8 percent of mortgages, down from 624,577, or 28 percent in the first quarter of this year. It also was down from 588,439, or 26.5 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

Nationally 10.8 million homes or 22.3 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage had negative equity. That is down from 11.4 million or 23.7 percent of properties at the end of the first quarter.

“The level of negative equity continues to improve with more than 1.3 million households regaining a positive equity position since the beginning of the year,” Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic said in a statement.

Higher home prices this spring and summer combined with lower levels of inventory and declining bank-owned sales are contributing to the “nascent housing recovery and declining negative equity,” he noted.

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