Majority of region’s homes ‘underwater’

The two-county region’s 53.4 percent rate of underwater homeowners is well above the national average of 31.4 percent and illustrates just how hard the housing downturn hit the inland region, said Svenja Gudell, a senior economist with Zillow.

Wayne Boyer may live in the desert, but his home is underwater.

Boyer bought his Palm Springs condo for $228,000 in 2005. Today, the asking price for condos in his neighborhood is about $109,000 — if they’ve been remodeled.

“The condo directly below me was just sold in a short sale for $80,000,” Boyer said. “Thankfully, I am able to make the mortgage payments, but it will be years before I accumulate any equity in this property.”

Boyer is one of 358,249 homeowners in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who owe more on their mortgages than the current value of their homes, according to a first quarter report on negative equity by the real estate website Zillow.


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