Number of underwater homeowners in Las Vegas continues to subside


An auction sign for a foreclosed home in Las Vegas bends in the wind, Nov. 17, 2010.

Las Vegas’ underwater housing crisis keeps abating, even as the valley remains ground zero for upside-down borrowers.

Almost 34 percent of local homeowners with mortgages were underwater — meaning their debt outweighed their home value — in the first quarter this year, down from 48 percent a year earlier, according to a new report from Zillow.

At its peak two years ago, 71 percent of Las Vegas-area borrowers were underwater.

Despite the improvements, the valley had the highest share of upside-down homeowners last quarter, 33.9 percent, among the 35 metro areas listed in Zillow’s report.

Atlanta was a close second at 33.6 percent.

Nationally, 18.8 percent of borrowers were upside down in the first quarter.

Las Vegas’ soaring property values, spurred by investor appetite for cheap homes that flooded the market after the housing bubble burst, has helped many people escape negative equity.

Real Estate