Many Americans with Mortgages Still Underwater

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly a third of homeowners with a mortgage are underwater, according to a new report, owing more on their loans than their properties are worth.

"It's been a very wrenching housing recession so it's not something that in one time period we're going to get past," says economist Stan Humphries at the real estate firm Zillow.

Nearly 16 million homeowners across the country are underwater with their mortgages. And some cities are in much worse shape than others.

"If you look at markets like [Las] Vegas or Phoenix you're seeing much higher levels of negative equity," Humphries said.

In several cities, 50 percent of homeowners owe more than their properties are worth.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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