Underwater mortgages in Toledo area declining

Ohio still among 5 worst states for negative equity


The percentage of Toledo-area mortgages that were underwater declined to just over 20 percent at the end of 2013, according to CoreLogic.

Negative equity — commonly known as being “underwater” or “upside down” — means the borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

In metro Toledo, there were 25,116 residential properties underwater at year’s end, according to CoreLogic, a California real estate data company. That’s 20.6 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage. That’s down from 22.3 percent at the end of September, and 29 percent at the end of 2012.

Negative equity can occur because a property declines in value, because a mortgage debt increases, or a combination of both factors.

Nationally, 13.3 percent of properties with a mortgage were underwater, CoreLogic said. That’s virtually unchanged from the third quarter, but it’s down from 21.5 percent at the end of 2012.

Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 30.4 percent, followed by Florida (28.1 percent), Arizona (21.5 percent), Ohio (19.0 percent), and Illinois (18.7 percent). Those five states account for 36.9 percent of negative equity in the United States. Michigan is tied for seventh at 18 percent.

In Lucas County and northern Wood County, the average price of homes sold increased 9 percent last year, according to the Toledo Board of Realtors.