4 Million American Homeowners Still “Underwater”

2593500469_9d95d0c945_zAlthough the number of American homeowners who are “underwater” with their mortgages, owing more than their home is worth, has been dropping as the real estate market continues to improve, almost 4 million are still underwater by at least 20%.

This totals about $579 billion of so-called negative equity, according to real estate company Zillow. “Homeowners who remain underwater will likely be the toughest to free from negative equity,” says Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

The good news: There were 15 million homes in negative equity at the peak of the housing crisis. The national negative equity rate dropped to 15.4% of all homes with mortgages in the first quarter, down from rate 18.8% the same period last year.

Find out more at Market Watch.

Photo courtesy of: U.S. Geological Survey