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Many Ohio homes remain “underwater”

Ohio and several other Midwestern states are among those with the highest percentage of homes that are “deeply underwater,” according to a new report.

The RealtyTrac report found that more than 30 percent of mortgaged homeowners in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois owe significantly more than their homes are worth.

In Ohio, 31 percent of homeowners owe at least 25 percent or more than their home’s estimated value, compared with the national average of 23 percent of homeowners. In Illinois, 40 percent of homes are deeply underwater; in Michigan it’s 38 percent, the report said.

Overall, RealtyTrac found that 10.7 million homes nationwide are deeply underwater, representing 23 percent of U.S. properties with a mortgage. That figure is down from 26 percent in May.

Homeowner equity is slowly growing as the housing market recovers. In Ohio, 20 percent of homeowners have “resurfacing equity,” with between 10 percent negative equity and 10 percent positive equity. The national average is 18 percent, the report said.

“Due to the increased market demand and low inventory levels we have experienced during much of 2013, negative equity situations have only been noted in isolated circumstances in many areas of Ohio,” said Michael Mahon, executive vice president of HER Realtors, which covers Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati, in a news release.

“This trend will continue to add more buyers and sellers into a positively increasing equity market in months to come, as well as an increased rate of recovery across Ohio for 2013,” he said.

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