Despite South Florida’s much-ballyhooed housing recovery, a huge share of mortgaged homes in the region remain deeply underwater.
In Miami-Dade County, 41 percent of homes and condos with mortgages are “seriously underwater,’’ as of early September, down from 45 percent a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac. That totals 240,352 residences in Miami-Dade.
The Irvine, Calif.-based data firm said 38 percent of mortgaged residences in Broward County — some 191,518 properties — remain underwater, down from 44 percent a year earlier.
RealtyTrac labels a residence as “seriously underwater’’ when its owner owes at least 25 percent more on the mortgage than the property is worth.
The huge share of residences with negative equity has held down the inventory of homes for sale, helping buoy home prices amid strong buyer demand.
Across Florida, 40 percent of the mortgaged residences —some 2,075,484 properties — are underwater in September, down from 43 percent a year earlier. Nationwide, 23 percent of mortgaged homes, or 10.7 million residences, are underwater, down from 28 percent in September 2012.
“Even homeowners deeply underwater have reason for hope, with about 150,000 each month rising past the 25 percent negative equity milestone — although it will certainly take years rather than months before most of those homeowners have enough equity to sell other than via short sale,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a statement.