A new report by the real estate web site Zillow shows about one in five Knoxville homeowners is underwater on their mortgage. The quarterly report by Zillow looks at the number of homeowners who have what’s called “negative equity”—they owe more on their homes than what they could get if they sold them.
In Knoxville, 20 percent of the homes are underwater, but that goes as high as 36 percent in some parts of the city. The farther west you go from the city center, the more the rate drops. For example, only about 9 percent of homeowners are underwater in Farragut.
Some of the highest county-wide averages appear in Scott, Union and Sevier County, where the average falls between 25 and 29 percent.
Nationwide, about a quarter of homeowners have negative equity. But experts say that number is falling as home prices continue to rise.