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According to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2015 U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report, 6.4 million U.S. properties were identified as “seriously underwater,” meaning the combined loan amount secured on the property was at least 25% higher than the property’s estimated market value. This number represented 11.5% of all properties with a mortgage.

However, seriously underwater properties at year-end 2015 were down from 6.9 million (representing 12.7% of all properties with a mortgage) at the end of the third quarter of 2015, and down from 7.1 million (also representing 12.7% of all properties with a mortgage) at the end of 2014. In addition, the number of seriously underwater properties at the end of 2015 was half of the 12.8 million (representing 28.6% of all properties with a mortgage) reported for the second quarter of 2012, when the number of seriously underwater properties peaked.

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