In the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos residential market, the level of underwater mortgages leveled off in the second quarter, according to a real estate services company.

CoreLogic reported 165,650 of all residential properties with a mortgage (28.1 percent) were in negative equity, in the San Diego County market. In the first quarter, the level was 28.2 percent, or 165,582 properties, according to the new analysis.

Also in the San Diego market, an additional 4.8 percent — or 28,352 residential properties — were in near negative equity for second quarter 2012 compared to 4.9 percent, or 28,889, in first quarter 2012.

Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.  Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination.

JtR: Including homeowners without a mortgage, those underwater are fewer than 20%.

There have been 9,410 San Diego short-sales and REO listings closed this year, or 6% of 165,650.

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