Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

August 13, 2009
More than half of Sacramento-area mortages are under water
5:10 p.m. UPDATE: Here are the local numbers: Rather shocking....

In Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville-Woodland, 257,871, or 51.10 percent of all properties with a mortgage, are in negative equity.

Santa Ana-based First American CoreLogic just minutes ago released a grim look at the mortgage crisis, reporting that

32.2 percent of all U.S. mortgages were tied to homes worth less than the amount of their loans.

In California, it says, 42 percent of mortgages are in that condition often referred to as "under water." The report says 2.9 million California mortgages are in a state of negative equity and  3.1 million more are nearing it as the housing crisis persists and the economy worsens.

Nationally, 15.2 million mortgages tied to $3.4 trillion worth of residential property are in a negative equity position, and consequently in some danger of foreclosure, says First American.

The firm didn't immediately have a Sacramento-area breakdown, but in the past has said that more than one-third of the region's mortgages were in that condition. We have an email into the firm to try and get the regional picture.

"Negative equity continues to be the dominant driver of the mortgage market because it leads to foreclosures in the event a borrower experiences some kind of economic shock such as a job loss, illness or other adverse situation. Given that negative equity did not increase this quarter and home prices declines are moderating or flattening, we may be at the peak of the negative equity cycle. However, until negative equity recedes and unemployment declines, mortgage risk will continue to be very elevated," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

Jim Wasserman on Twitter

Follow "jimwasserman" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31