"The relentless slide in home prices has left nearly one in six U.S. homeowners owing more on a mortgage than the home is worth, raising the possibility of a rise in defaults -- the very misfortune that touched off the credit crisis last year.Even with the slide in real estate, the 1/6 number is hard to believe. You figure some fairly large percentage has house paid off, others close. It would be really fascinating to see the numbers on that. I am sure they are out there.
The result of homeowners being 'under water' is more pressure on an economy that is already in a downturn. No longer having equity in their homes makes people feel less rich and thus less inclined to shop at the mall."
As for the numbers they do give, look at Southern California, Las Vegas, and Miami. Wow.