According to data from real estate research company Zillow.com that was reported in the Boston Business Journal, there are 78,873 underwater mortgages in 167 Eastern Massachusetts towns and cities. This accounts for about 11 percent of all homes and mortgages in the region.
The community with the highest number of underwater mortgages is Brockton, where 33 percent of all homes are underwater. Lawrence came in second with 31 percent and Chelsea ranked third with 26 percent. Randolph and Lynn followed with 25 and 24 percent, respectively.
Underwater mortgages are home loans whose principal balance is greater than the market value of the home it is financing. According to the BBJ, about 19 percent or roughly 10 million homes across the United States had underwater mortgages as of March 31.
Meanwhile, Wellesley had the lowest underwater mortgage rate at 2.5 percent. This was followed by Needham with 2.8 percent and Bedford with 3 percent.
Boston’s underwater mortgage rate was about average at 12.6 percent. However, that figure changes when looking at the city’s various neighborhoods. Allston, where 21 percent of all homes are underwater, took the title of Boston’s worst-performing neighborhood.