230,000+ NJ homes ‘seriously underwater,’ financially speaking
As recently as June 2018, more than 230,000 homes in New Jersey were considered "seriously underwater," meaning the homeowner owed at least 25 percent more on the mortgage than the home is worth.
It was the situation for 13.2 percent of New Jersey properties with a mortgage during the second quarter of this year, according to a report from real estate tracker Attom Data Solutions.
New Jersey's rate, the 17th-highest in the country, was three points higher than the national average and one percentage point higher than the same time last year.
According to the analysis, there were 65 zip codes nationwide where more than half of all the properties were seriously underwater. Six of them are right here in New Jersey:
- 08611 (Trenton, Mercer County): 71.5 percent
- 08232 (Pleasantville, Atlantic County): 57.4 percent
- 08618 (Trenton, Mercer County): 56.8 percent
- 07111 (Irvington, Essex County): 54.6 percent
- 08638 (Trenton, Mercer County): 52.6 percent
- 08401 (Atlantic City, Atlantic County): 51.8 percent
"There are some areas that have been left behind by this housing recovery," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with Attom Data Solutions. "I would say those six zip codes that have at least 50 percent would be in that category."
New Jersey's rate of seriously underwater homes reached as high as 21.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013.
On the other extreme of the money-owed spectrum, 22 percent of New Jersey properties with a mortgage were considered equity rich. In this case, homeowners have already paid off at least 50 percent of the home's estimated market value. Nationwide, 24.5 percent of properties with a mortgage are considered equity rich.