Report: 22 Percent Of Boston-Area Homeowners Are Underwater

In a February file photo, a home is for sale in North Andover. (AP)
In a February file photo, a home is for sale in North Andover. (AP)

Twenty-two percent of Boston-area* homeowners are underwater — owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth — according to Zillow's Negative Equity Report.

The average negative equity for these local underwater homeowners is nearly $85,000, according to the report, which is based on first quarter 2012 data.

Boston's underwater homeowner rate is better than the national figure — 31.4 percent. Some cities, like Atlanta, Phoenix and Sacramento, have underwater rates over 50 percent.

But, as the Patriot Ledger notes, many individual Massachusetts communities are struggling: allows you to search by ZIP code, and the results aren’t pretty for places like Brockton, Chelsea and Randolph. They have ZIP codes where 53 percent, 46 percent and 42 percent, respectively, of the home mortgages are underwater.

The Zillow interactive map also allows you to compare underwater rates by county. Worcester County has the highest underwater rate in the state, at 30 percent, followed by Plymouth County (28 percent) and Bristol County (27 percent).

Correction: Zillow refers to the Boston "metro," not just "Boston," as this post first stated.

This program aired on May 24, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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