5/24/12, "Negative equity remains a drag on housing market," LA Times, A. Lazo
"Nearly 1 in 3 homeowners with a mortgage in L.A. County owes more than the property is worth, new data show. These underwater loans hinder mobility and hurt prices because they tend to stymie the important move-up market....
Underwater homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and San Diego counties were a staggering $138.9 billion deep in negative equity at the end of the first quarter, Zillow reported. Nationally, underwater borrowers owe about $1.2 trillion more than what those properties are worth, Zillow estimates.
The new Zillow data show the severity of the negative equity problem down to the ZIP Code level in Southern California.
The data indicate that cities farthest from major job centers are now the deepest underwater. More than 60% of loans were underwater in places such as Palmdale and Lancaster in the high desert, and San Bernardino and Hemet in the Inland Empire."...