Chicago Has Twice as Many Homes in Mortgage Distress than Nationwide Average
RealtyTrac determined that 11.5% of homes nationwide were “seriously underwater” on their mortgages; in other words, they own at least a quarter more than their home is actually worth.
RealtyTrac tracked one hundred U.S. cities, and only five of them had a higher percentage of homes underwater than the nationwide average. Chicago, unfortunately, is one of those cities. 21.5% of mortgaged Chicago-area homes are seriously underwater. As of December of 2015, that amounted to approximately 516,000 homeowners. Incidentally, that’s an improvement from December of 2014, when about 521,000 Chicago-area were underwater. The highest percentage of underwater homes were in Las Vegas, where 27.7% of homeowners with mortgages owe at least a quarter more than the value of their homes.
Despite all of this, according to Black Knight Financial Services, while 1.09 million homes nationwide were at least 90-days past due on their mortgage payments (though not yet in foreclosure) at the end of 2014, only 808,000 homes were in a similar situation at the end of 2015. That’s almost a 26% decline. The percentage of homes that were only 30-days past due on their mortgage payments declined by 15% between December 2014 and December 2015. These reductions reflect economic growth in general.
In fact, RealtyTrac states that 14.2% of Chicago-area homeowners with mortgages have at least 50% equity in their homes. Nationwide, though, 22.5% of homeowners with mortgages have at least 50% equity in their homes. There has been an increase in cash-out refinances as well, although, according to Black Knight Financial Services, borrowers are still leaving, on average, 33% equity in their home after a cash-out refinance. So while there are a lot of homeowners in distress, others are slowly but surely building equity in their homes.