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August 29, 2009

File this under "C" for "Could Be Worse" (also "Could Be Better")

One in four borrowers in the Baltimore metro area are under water on their mortgages, owing more than their homes are worth, according to estimates by real estate information company First American CoreLogic. That's not the sort of news to make anyone cheer -- anyone who isn't expecting to profit off short sales and foreclosures, anyway.

But at least we're not Las Vegas. Or Detroit. Or Tampa.

They're among the 14 metro areas with at least 40 percent of mortgaged properties in negative equity. Makes our 25 percent look -- well, a lot smaller than 25 percent of borrowers under water would normally look.

Las Vegas tops First American CoreLogic's list, with a whopping 69 percent of mortgaged homes under water. Second is Riverside, Calif., with 57 percent, followed by Phoenix, Ariz., with 56 percent. (Detroit is fifth-highest at 52 percent. Tampa is eighth with 51 percent.)

Baltimore is 33rd on the list, which ranks the 50 largest metro areas.

Fiftieth -- the best spot; this is a list you want to come in last on -- is Pittsburgh. Fourteen percent of its borrowers are under water. Including Pittsburgh, nine metro areas have less than 20 percent of borrowers in negative-equity positions.

Is your home worth less than you owe on it?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 7:00 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Mortgages


I live in a suburb outside of Detroit. Bought my house six years ago for $220,000. Today, similar houses in my sub are going for less than $160,000. I did have a large down payment so I only owe $150,000.
However, even if I could sell, I would obviously lose A LOT!

As a Real Estate agent in Baltimore I routinely meet with potential sellers on a weekly basis. Over the last 8 months we have only been able to assist 1 in 3 clients we make contact with in Baltimore City and County. Most people do not understand that they can not execute a short sale (sell their home for less than they owe) unless they have a hardship such as loosing a job, bankruptcy, divorce.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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