South Florida ranks high in underwater mortgages



Despite the strong rebound in South Florida housing prices, 33 percent of its mortgaged residences were deeply underwater in December 2013, according to RealtyTrac.

Among large metropolitan spots, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area had the fifth highest percentage of homes “deeply underwater,” or worth at least 25 percent less than their mortgages, the Irvine, Calif-based data firm said.

Other metro areas in that unenviable status were No. 1 Las Vegas, with 41 percent; No. 2 Orlando, with 36 percent; No. 3 Detroit, with 35 percent; and No. 4 Tampa, with 35 percent. Chicago tied with the Miami area at fifth, with 33 percent of its mortgaged homes deeply underwater.

Across Florida, 34 percent of mortgaged homes were heavily upside down, placing it second only to Nevada, which had 38 percent with major negative equity in December 2012.

In Florida, 61 percent of the deeply underwater homes were in the foreclosure process, putting the state second behind Nevada, where 65 percent were facing foreclosure.

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