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Upside down in L.A., O.C.

November 16, 2008|Peter Y. Hong

About 40% of those who bought homes in Los Angeles County and Orange County in the last five years now owe more on their property than the homes are currently worth, according to data released today by Zillow.com.

The most "upside down" are those who bought in 2006 -- Zillow says 71% of them have mortgages greater than their property values. About 57% of those who bought in 2005 and 2007 are upside down.

Homes in L.A. and O.C. purchased in 2006 had a median down payment of 5%, according to the Zillow third-quarter real estate market report, which also has data for the rest of the nation.

The picture looks better for post-bubble 2008 home purchasers in our area. The median down payment for L.A. and O.C. homes bought this year was 20%.

Not surprisingly, only 12% of homes purchased in 2008 are upside down.

Zillow figures L.A. and O.C. home values are now 27% below their peak, which they identify as first-quarter 2006. That's more than double the 13% fall from the peak for homes nationwide.

-- Peter Y. Hong

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