Zillow Map – Percentage of Underwater Homes By Zip Code

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on this site are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. MyMoneyBlog.com does not include all card companies or all available card offers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone.

Do you owe more on your house than it’s worth? How many of your neighbors are underwater? Are things brighter in the next zip code over?

Zillow has a very revealing Negative Equity Map that shows the percentage of homes in your area that have negative equity. The numbers are recent, last updated based on Transunion data from the first quarter of 2012.

I checked out the San Francisco Bay Area and saw a lot of red as expected, but also several pockets of lighter colors. More evidence that real estate is local?

I then pulled up the map for Austin, Texas where my sister lives, expecting (based on anecdotal evidence) to see a completely different picture. It’s better, but there are still areas of pain:

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on this site are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. MyMoneyBlog.com does not include all card companies or all available card offers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Comments and/or responses are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Comments and/or responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. % homes underwater = 76% where I live. Sacramento area. Surprised it is not more, honestly. The usual conversation when we invite newer friends over is, Them: “So what are you going to do about your house?” Us: “We are fine – not underwater or anything.” Them: *Jaw drop and a scratch of the head.* WELL, housing prices were not *insane* when we bought (which still leaves them jaw dropped and scratching head). Apparently the idea to put 20% down and not borrow the $400k-ish equity at the peak did not occur to most people. It just absolutely astounds me. Around here properties are mostly new and values went up so fast, and most people borrowed their way into this mess. For cars and public schools and educations. It disturbs me that our approach would be considered so unique and novel, is all. I know people who bought at much lower prices and borrowed insane sums for no real reason. Rant over!

    These maps are interesting because even some of the older neighborhoods boast 70%-ish underwater. !!! I’d expect people who owned their home several decades – some of them would not be upside down? It is an epidemic.

  2. Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Correction – I was referring to *private schools* in my rant. 😀

  4. 21% in my area. Not shocked…I know a few people who did massive cashout refis in the boom times and now have 600-700k mortgages. Our neighbor is doing a short-sale expressly because her husband did a cash out in 2006 and now that they’re divorcing she can’t keep up the payments on 600+k. If they hadn’t been greedy they would owe maybe 300 on the house by now.

  5. Donnie Lawson says

    Wow there’s a lot of red all over the country! Woohoo for Pittsburgh! I guess if home prices rise at snails pace it’s difficult for them to suddenly fall.

    Talk about dead-simple real estate investing market. Unless you are an idiot, here in Pittsburgh you can buy a place and slightly cash-flow even after expenses. You can do this blindfolded in some neighborhoods/suburbs.

  6. My zip code apparently is in the highest 5% of the US for homes underwater. Fun….

  7. I did it for my area (SoCal).
    Most of the bright red are in the pooer areas (30% or higher) while all the expensive areas are less than 10% underwater.

    Most million dollars home are doing fine, my guess is probably the homeowner in those area have better understanding of finance and budgeting so they don’t over borrow.

  8. Interesting. My current ZIP is at 21% which isn’t too bad. One of the small cities only a few miles from us is at 52%. It varies a lot within our county.

    We have one rental that is out of state and its at 48%. I’m surprised its that low, but its probably because the other 52% of the homes were lost to foreclosure. 🙁 However this is only as reliable as Zillow’s data. Their prices are off by up to 20% about half the time in that ZIP. Being off by 20% would easily push the % of underwater homes way out of whack.

  9. That map must be based upon the NONSENSE “zestimate” which zillow posts on their web site. Can you tell that I think Zillows estimate is quite inaccurate?

  10. I’m actually a little shocked how high the numbers are reported in the Boston area. Boston housing prices have held up relatively well, so I was surprised to see that some areas in Boston are as high as 24% underwater. Prices aren’t that off (I was able to actually sell a place recently for more than I brought for near the peak). I would also think that many long term owners would be deep in the money on their mortgages after owning so long, but I guess not…

  11. New York has been relatively spared from all this real estate craziness. Maybe because it was so expensive in a first place so people wanted to speculate on cheaper markets or maybe it’s harder to get a permit to build new properties here. Whatever it is, we are doing better than some other areas

  12. Supports the saying “mostimportant thing about real estate is location, location, location”.

  13. Hmmm… Are these based on Zillow Estimates? In Austin, for example, I’m pretty sure they don’t have access to the same level of public data as in other cities. For this reason, the Zillow estimates I’ve seen are notoriously bad. (High and Low…)

  14. One thing to note is that about 1/2 of the mortgages are usually less than 5 years old. 2/3 of mortgages are less than 10 years old. Thats because people move around and refinance. Most people don’t sit tight in a home for 10-30 years. I read long time ago that 1 in 6 Americans moves in a given year so that causes a lot of turnover in mortgages.

  15. Another thought is that there can be a positive correlation between percentage of underwater mortgages and rising home values. Inventories have declined in many areas to levels not seen in 5 or 6 years. This explains a rise in home values. My wife and I recently sold our home without a realtor. We received an offer after 2 days, although it wasn’t quite what we wanted. We knew inventories were low and waited for a better offer, which we received a few weeks later.

    There is also a “shadow inventory” of homes that exists where homeowners want to sell but they are forced to wait until market prices come back up. Therefore, as prices inch higher and as homeowner pay down principal, more inventory will enter the market, thereby keeping prices from inflating at a high rate.

    Thanks for the interesting chart…

  16. I’m not able to view this map’s search options. I’ve tried with Explorer, Opera, and Dolphin browsers so far and none have worked. Can anyone provide me with some technical help, please?

Speak Your Mind