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More than 9 million U.S. homes are deeply under water

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 7:23 a.m. HST, Jan 9, 2014

The number of homes worth at least 25 percent less than the combined loans secured by the property, is at 9.3 million in the U.S.

While significant, the number is declining, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for December.

The 9.3 million is significantly down from the 10.9 million deeply underwater properties found in January of 2013, and is down from the 10.7 million in the company's September report, a figure representing 23 percent of all properties with a mortgage.

The most recent "negative equity" peak recorded by RealtyTrac was in May, 2012, when 12.8 million, or 29 percent  of all homes under mortgage, were deeply underwater.

Hawaii has the highest percentage of equity-rich residential properties at 36 percent, compared to 33 percent in New York, 26 percent in California, and 24 percent in Maine, Montana and the District of Columbia, the report found.

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