Roughly 16 percent of homeowners across Greater Boston are still mired down in negative equity, Zillow reports.
To translate, they owe more on their home than it is worth in the current market.
But if you are out house hunting, this stat can be useful. After all, it can show you the towns where home values held up better when faced with the ultimate test, the epic, years-long real estate downturn we are just now pulling out of.
Not surprisingly, the toniest suburbs have relatively miniscule number of underwater homeowners, with towns like Winchester and Manchester and Concord and Lexington are all below 5 percent.
Yet there are a whole bunch of additional towns out there that are hardly brand names, so to speak, but where real estate values have held up amazingly well.
Towns like Burlington (6.3 percent) and Topsfield (7.5 percent), Reading (6.0 percent) and Wakefield (8.7 percent), have negative equity rates well below the average for Greater Boston.
It's not cheap to get into any of these towns. Yet at least for the Boston area, we are talking about prices that while high, won't leave you in shock, ranging from $350,000 to nearly $500,000. (The median price for Burlington, for example, stands at $395,500, The Warren Group reports.)
Other towns with surprisingly low negative equity rates include:
- Waltham, 8.4 percent
- Melrose, 7.7 percent
- Groton, 6.5 percent
- Hopkinton, 7.8 percent
- Stow, 7.2 percent
- Stoneham, 9.3 percent
- Sharon, 8 percent
- Littleton, 8.9 percent
- Duxbury 8.9 percent
- North Reading, 9.2 percent
- Acton, 7.8 percent
- Natick, 9.9 percent
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