Nearly one in ten Atlanta properties still underwater

Despite years of improvement, about one in every ten mortgaged homes in metro Atlanta is still “underwater,” according to a report issued this morning by a California real estate data firm.

Burning house Graffiti-Solea-burning-house

More than eight years after the burst of the housing bubble in metro Atlanta and more than three years after average prices in the market began moving up, 9.7 percent of the region’s mortgages are in negative equity – that is, the owner owes more on the property than the home is worth on the market.

Roughly 115,500 homes were underwater during this year’s third quarter, according to CoreLogic’s report.

But that is a whole sight better than it was, and the improvement of late has been steady, if modest: A year earlier, 165,307 – 13.9 percent of all mortgaged homes – were underwater.

A large number of homes with negative equity is both a symptom of weakness in the market and a reason that improvement will continue to be slow. Homeowners who are underwater are unlikely to sell. That keeps inventory — the number of homes for sale – down, which keeps many other potential buyers from either entering the market or moving up to a more expensive home.

Moreover, negative equity dampens a homeowner’s personal spending. That is partly by a negative “wealth effect,” the way that a consumer’s sense of well-being is supported or undermined by his home’s value.

But it is also because the homeowner cannot use home equity as a source of money. And that limits spending — especially on big expenses. The continued rise in home prices is seen as good – if modest – news for homeowners and the economy in general.

“Homeowner equity is the largest source of wealth for many Americans,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The rise in home prices, expected to be at least 5 percent in 2016, will continue to build wealth and confidence across America.”

Nationally, 8.9 million of the more than 50 million homes with a mortgage have less than 20 percent equity, according to CoreLogic. Just over 8 percent of all mortgages nationally are still underwater: 4.1 million properties.

Among the states, Georgia currently ranks tenth in the proportion of mortgages that are underwater.

The state most-burdened by negative equity is Nevada, where 19 percent of all mortgages – that is, nearly one of every five mortgages – is underwater, according to CoreLogic.

As the new year approaches, things are continuing to look up. Jonathan Smoke of calculated the number of page views for various markets and culled out a top ten that should lead the nation in sales over the coming year.

Atlanta had the fifth-strongest outlook.


111011 Atlanta, Ga; A for sale sign is shown out from of Jeff and Amy Kassen's three-bedroom home in the Brookhaven neighborhood Thursday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., November 10, 2011. They have lived in this house for five years and have outgrown it. The Kassens are willing to take a beating on their sale, hoping to make it up in the value they gain when they buy another house at a bargain price. Jason Getz


Reader Comments 0


There was something of another 6 million people who were like 90 days late on their mortgage payment. How did they people who could not pay get 3 months payments to bring the mortgage payment current? The answer is they did not have and will not have the 3 months to bring current the debt.

Problem with Atlanta like all the other majority black populated areas is that unlike whites that have a 4% unemployment rate, blacks among young males is a 35% to 50% unemployment. The 6:00pm news show in the murder toll as to what going on in the hood. The Mayor of Atlanta act as if blacks are doing well when in fact there was no plan from the White House for blacks to recover from the Financial Crisis cause by the white corporations on Wall Street.

What did the Atlanta new report about the three Atlanta Metro area counties are suing that banks like cities in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Oakland are currently suing the major bank for discriminating in lending and foreclosing on blacks & Hispanic! Look at Chicago which is the President adopted home for election purposes (not Christmas vacation as that reserve for sunny Hawaii) but when it come to stopping black males from shooting up everything there is no solution.

You cannot have foreclosed on 20% of the black homeowner and another 20% behind on payments and another 20% underwater and could not refinance at the white people interest rate of under 4%! Most blacks are still at those before the crisis high interest rates, but leader like Mayor Reed act as if everything great because Obama in office, but Obama not purposed a plan for blacks and lower unemployment rate for whites are for Whites Only and not blacks who must drink the kool aid from a different water faucet.

However black folks must love seeing 4 or 5 young black males breaking into other people's homes and killing them because the future seems so bright! Please!

Bob Abouy
Bob Abouy

How healthy is a "recovery" built upon service and hospitality jobs and one where a 30 hour work week is considered full time? I know many that pay more for obamma-care that rent or mortgages. 10% my rear, I bet another 30-40% are treading water a heart beat away from slipping under