Being underwater on your mortgage in most states doesn't’t always mean you’re going to lose your home. But, more often than not, it does in Nevada.
The real estate firm RealtyTrac says about 55 percent of properties in Nevada in some stage of foreclosure are also deeply underwater, which means they owe more than the home is worth.
It is the highest number in the country and outpaces the national average of 35 percent.
How can that be? Aren’t we enjoying the benefits of an economic recovery?
Eli Segall, a business reporter with the Las Vegas Sun, told KNPR's State of Nevada that because Nevada was hit so hard by the housing crisis it will take much longer to recover.
"These housing problems are going to take a long time to really fully recover and heal," Segall said.
Las Vegas was ground zero for the housing bubble and the burst. At one point three-quarters of the homeowners in the valley were underwater and between 3,000 and 4,000 homes a month were being taken back by the bank.
Segall believes state laws including the homeowner's bill of rights helped slow the rate of foreclosures in the state.
Southern Nevada's underwater rate is now at around 25 percent. Investors are no longer snapping up resales as quickly as they did in the past and Segall believes the market will get better but it is a very big hole we're digging our way out of.
Eli Segall, business reporter, Las Vegas Sun
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.