| After hitting their peak in 2007, home prices across the country have fallen 25%. Close to one in three U.S. (15.7 million) homeowners are underwater in the U.S., meaning they owe more on the mortgages than the homes are now worth. To be exact, U.S. homeowners collectively owe $1.2 trillion more than their homes are worth.
But as with all economic crises, some places are being hit harder than others - and that's where interactive maps come in. Zillow recently released a map by county showing how many homes are underwater across the United States.
The worst rates of underwater mortgages are in Florida, the West Coast (especially California), the Rust Belt, and the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In Clark County, Nevada - home to Las Vegas/the epicenter of the housing crisis, a staggering 71% of homes are underwater. In general, the places that are less impacted are more or less the places that simply have fewer people. They're mostly rural areas in less densely populated states - Montana, Nebraska, Maine, etc.
In Texas, there are dozens of counties in serious trouble, with over half of the homes underwater. Keep in mind that counties colored in blue doesn't mean the counties are in the clear - it just means there isn't reliable data.
Zillow Underwater Mortgage Data by County
Unlike many other areas around the county, the less populated areas in Texas are in many cases faring worse than the cities. West Texas in particular is severely impacted. In many of the counties along the Mexican border and in the panhandle, underwater rates well over 30% are common, with some even over 50%.
The major cities fare slightly better, with Bexar County at 23%, Travis County at 28%, Harris County at 31% and Tarrant County at 35% - rates more in line with the overall rate nationwide. But even where Texas matches the national average, there are still a shockingly high number of homeowners with negative equity. And looking at data like these, it's easy to see why the economic recovery is so slow.