Nearly 30 percent of Miami-Dade homeowners owe more than their property is worth

A “for sale” sign is displayed outside a home in Miami in 2009.
A “for sale” sign is displayed outside a home in Miami in 2009. Getty Images

Nearly one in three Miami-Dade County homes with a mortgage are “underwater,” meaning that the balance of the mortgage is greater than the price the property would fetch on the open market, according to a new report.

Homes that are underwater are difficult to sell or refinance and face a higher risk of foreclosure.

More than 27 percent of Miami-Dade homes — about 122,950 properties — were underwater in the fourth quarter of last year, a report by the property analytics firm CoreLogic found. That’s an improvement from the fourth quarter of 2013 when 33.6 percent of local homes — about 153,980 properties — were in negative equity.

Although South Florida’s housing market is in recovery, the new figures show that many homeowners here are still suffering from the aftershocks of the financial crisis.

At the state level, 23.2 percent of homes in Florida are underwater, according to CoreLogic. Only Nevada (24.2 percent) had a greater share of homes in negative equity.

“Negative equity continued to be a serious issue for the housing market and the U.S. economy at the end of 2014 with 5.4 million homeowners still ‘underwater,’” Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said in a statement.

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