CoreLogic said today that the number of homeowners across the country who have a mortgage that's more than the value of their house rose slightly from 22.5 percent during the 3rd quarter 2010 to 23.1 percent by the end of the year.

In the Twin Cities metro area 16.8 percent, or 80,705, residential mortgages were in a negative equity position during the fourth quarter. Another 5.3 percent were in near negative equity in the Twin Cities, meaning that they were very close to owing more than their house was worth.

These negative equity reports, which are produced by several entities, have been somewhat controversial because it's a measure that only applies to homeowners who HAVE a mortgage, and it's only important if that person is planning to sell. At any given time, only about 5 percent of all homes are on the market.

Earlier this year Zillow sent a shudder through the local housing market when it said that 42 percent of all Twin Cities homeowners were underwater on their mortgages at the end of the year, significantly more than the 27 percent figure for the nation.



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