About 12 million U.S. homeowners owe more than their homes are worth, compared with 6.6 million at the end of last year and slightly more than 3 million at the close of 2006, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com.
"At the root it's 'the' problem," said Zandi. "If you're going to put your finger on the one thing that's gotten us into this fiasco, it's the fact that millions of homeowners are under water on their homes."
Nationwide, for those who purchased U.S. homes since the beginning of 2003, nearly one in three now have negative equity.[emphasis added]
Nearly half of buyers who purchased in 2006 are under water.
Despite tighter credit and underwriting for home loans this year, Steve Berg, a managing director at research firm LPS Applied Analytics, said mortgages originated in 2008 were on par or trending worse than those originated last year or in 2006.
Got that? We are not working through the bad loan crisis we are still ramping up to a higher peak.