Statistics indicating that nearly half of Arizona mortgages are under water brought no surprises to many homeowners who have had trouble selling a home or are fighting foreclosure. Arizona homeowners with reduced equity in their homes face many financial challenges, and the plummeting real estate market in Phoenix has been a major factor.
A recent review of financial data by a private research firm showed that only Nevada, with a rate of 63 percent, has a more entrenched negative equity problem than Arizona (49.6 percent) among U.S. states. For the Phoenix metro, the figure is somewhat higher at 55 percent. The average underwater mortgage in Arizona shows a $60,000 difference between the value of the home and the amount borrowed against it.
The numbers showed recent monthly increases in the nationwide U.S. Home Price Index, but Arizona real estate prices have continued to decrease at a rate that is among the worst in the country. The president of an Arizona banking association suggested that foreclosures are flattening out due to the fact that banks may no longer be able to afford pursuing them, but plenty of homeowners have expressed frustration at their inability to reach solutions with lenders.
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