A report by Zillow Real Estate Research this week found that the housing market is showing signs of life after five long years. Their conclusion: many metro areas have "hit the elusive bottom" and homes in some cities are now beginning to increase in value.
That’s the good news. In Baltimore, as well, certain neighborhoods are seeing housing prices climb.
The bad news is that the negative equity on huge numbers of homes across the country continues to weigh down the market. The Baltimore market, it turns out, mirrors almost exactly the national figures on underwater homes. According to Zillow, 30.9 percent of U.S. homeowners — 15.3 million people — have a mortgage that’s underwater. In the Baltimore metro area, that number is 30.8 percent.
Zillow has also posted a handy interactive map where you can search the percentage of homes underwater by zip code or county.
Despite being underwater, the study found that the majority of homeowners with negative equity continue to make regular payments.
Baltimore ranks slightly worse than the national average in terms of deliquent mortgages. Nationally, 9.2 percent of underwater homes are currently behind in their payments. In Baltimore, that number is 10.8 percent. The average negative equity amount in Baltimore is $77,135; the home value index in Baltimore is currently $213,000.
The average decline in home value at its peak in Baltimore: -24.7 percent. The average decline nationally since 2007: -22 percent.
According to Zillow, the five metros with the greatest percent of homes in negative equity:
1. Las Vegas: 68.5; 2. Atlanta: 54.4; 3. Orlando: 51.9%; 4. Phoenix: 51.6%; 4. Riverside, Ca.: 51.2%
The five metro with the lowest percent of homes in negative equity:
1. Buffalo: 12.3%; 2. Rochester: 13.2%; 3. Pittsburgh: 15.6%; 4. Oklahoma City: 19.5%; 5. Boston: 19.6%