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Mon., May 10, 2010, 3:15 p.m.

Almost 7,000 county homeowners under water

Almost 7,000 Spokane County homeowners were under water at the end of the first quarter of 2010, and another 5,500 had less than five percent equity.

CoreLogic, which compiles property information for consumers and industry, said 7.1 percent of  county homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Another 5.7 percent had minimal equity.

Statewide, 15.8 percent of homeowners were under water, with 5.4 percent nearly so.

In Idaho, almost 24 percent had mortgages in excess of their homes' value, another 5.1 percent had little equity.

Those numbers were almost identical for all of the United States. More than 11 million mortgages exceeded equity, and 2.3 million had equity less than five percent.

CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming said it will take five to seven years for the typical homeowner to regain lost equity.

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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.