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Dubious distinction: Chicago leads all cities in “seriously underwater” mortgages, report says

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Chicago had the most “seriously underwater” mortgages of the nation’s 10 largest metro markets.

Some 13.1 percent of Chicago-area homeowners owed at least 25 percent more than what their homes are worth, according a third-quarter report from Attom Data Solutions, Crain’s reported. The national average was 8.8 percent.

Chicago’s percentage works out to 260,000 homes with underwater mortgages. New York has the second-most seriously underwater mortgages with 172,000, but that’s only 6.7 percent of homes there, or about half the percentage in Chicago.

Chicago also has the smallest share of homeowners who are “equity rich” — 16.8 percent — meaning they owe at least 25 percent less than their house is worth, according to the report. The national average for those who are equity rich was 25.7 percent.

Overall, Chicago leads the nation in homes that are in any way underwater, well out-pacing second-place Miami.

The result is more homeowners staying in their homes longer, hurting the housing market. And with little equity to tap, they’re spending less, which hurts the overall economy, an analyst told Crain’s.

Experts blamed a lack of homes listed for sale with helping to drive a 16.6 percent decline in Chicago home sales in September. The declining in home sales is most pronounced in properties worth less than $500,000. [https://therealdeal.com/chicago/2018/09/20/chicagos-expensive-home-market-grew-in-august-its-starter-home-market-did-not/] [Crain’s] — John O’Brien


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