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ONE FOURTH OF CHICAGO HOMEOWNERS UNDER WATER

Andrew Schroedter - Crain's Chicago Business
A quarter of Chicago-area homeowners with mortgages owe more on the loan than their property is worth, as local home prices continue to fall.

At the end of the fourth quarter, 385,780, or 25.4%, of the area's 1.5 million homeowners with mortgages had negative equity, according to a report released Tuesday by CoreLogic, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based housing-data firm.

An additional 80,048, or 5.3%, had less than 5% equity, or what's known as “near negative equity,” the report said.

The number of local negative and near negative equity homeowners increased compared to the third quarter, when 342,741, or 22.2%, of the area's mortgages had negative equity and 77,414, or 5%, had near negative equity.

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