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55 percent of Atlanta, 85 percent of Clayton Co. homes underwater

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Atlanta is drowning. One in 2 metro homeowners were underwater on their mortgage during the year’s first quarter, a new report from Zillow.com revealed Thursday.

The online real estate search outfit’s nationwide negative equity review found nearly 16 million U.S. homeowners–and more than three quarters of a million in metro Atlanta counties–owed more on their mortgage than the appraised value of their homes.

Georgia’s most affected county by the proliferation of negative equity was majority-black suburban Clayton County, wherein 85% of homes were found underwater.

With 55.2 percent of borrowers underwater, Atlanta trails only Las Vegas (71 percent) and Phoenix (55.5 percent).

Georgia also maintains the fifth-highest foreclosure rate nationwide, another real estate tracking firm said last week.

- James Richardson

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