Tampa Tops Nation In Underwater Mortgages

TAMPA – The Tampa Bay area finds itself at the wrong end of two national housing rankings: leading the nation in underwater homeowners and near the top among foreclosures.

The new rankings prove that despite rising property values and multiple bids on some houses, the Bay area’s housing market is hardly out of the woods.

New figures from CoreLogic, a property research firm, show that 41.1 percent of all mortgaged properties in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area had negative equity in the first quarter of this year, meaning the debt on the properties exceeds their value. Such properties are referred to as underwater or upside-down.

That’s actually an improvement over the fourth quarter of last year, when 44.4 percent of local mortgages were underwater. However, it was the highest ratio among the nation’s 25 biggest metropolitan areas, CoreLogic said.

All told, 255,925 residential properties with a mortgage in the Tampa Bay area were in that unenviable position. Among the homeowners facing it is Mel Bermudez, a Tampa real estate agent who’s reminded of how much he’s underwater every time he sells a home at today’s still-low housing prices.

To find out who else tops the list check out tbo.com