A third of Illinois homes ‘deeply underwater’

CHICAGO – A new report found almost one-third of Illinois homes are “deeply underwater” meaning they’re worth at least 25 percent less than what’s owed on the loans.

The report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac said that represents almost 775,000 Illinois homes. The report is based on data from December.

Only Nevada and Florida fare worse, with 38 percent and 34 percent of homes deeply underwater, respectively.

But the report had some good news. Nationally, the percentage of deeply underwater homes is falling.

RealtyTrac said rising home prices are providing some relief. It also found the number of homes with at least 50 percent equity grew during the fourth quarter.

Twelve percent of Illinois homes meet that threshold and are considered equity rich.