LAS VEGAS -- Fewer than half of all homes in Nevada remain deeply underwater but the state still leads the nation in that category, RealtyTrac.com reported Wednesday night.
The real estate analytics company from Irvine, Calif., reported that 46 percent of Nevada homes with mortgages have outstanding loans that are at least 25 percent higher than the estimated market value of the residences. That's double the 23 percent underwater rate that RealtyTrac found nationally.
But Nevada's underwater rate, which translates to 336,145 housing units, represents an improvement from recent years following the last recession when more than two-thirds of homes in the Las Vegas Valley were underwater.
The flip side is that Nevada also ranks last nationally with only 7 percent of homeowners carrying mortgages having at least 50 percent equity in their homes.
"Steadily rising home prices are lifting all boats in this housing market and should spill over into more inventory of homes for sale in the coming months," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said. "Homeowners who already have ample equity are quickly building on that equity, while the 8.3 million homeowners on the fence with little or no equity are on track to regain enough equity to sell before 2015 if home prices continue to increase at the rate of 1.33 percent per month that they have since bottoming out in March 2012."