Previously, InvestorPlace compiled a list of the five worst states for U.S. homeowners based on the number of mortgages underwater. However, not all figures are so bleak — certain states actually are maintaining healthy housing markets.
These states have fared well through the recession, and their housing markets have remained strong as a result. According to CoreLogic’s 2011 Q4 home equity report, once you discount the five states with greatest negative equity, the average rate of underwater mortgages in the U.S. is only 15.3%.
For a quick view at America’s most optimistic housing markets, let’s look at the five best states for U.S. homeowners based on the percent of mortgages currently underwater.
#5: Montana (9%)
One of two Great Plains states on this list, Montana has maintained a low rate of unemployment through the recession — holding at 6.8% as of January 2010.
Montana is home to nearly 120,000 mortgages, only 10,754 of which have negative equity; another 4,495 have near-negative equity. The state’s loan-to-value ratio is a healthy 60.6%, and net homeowner equity rests at $11.77 billion.
#4: Pennsylvania (8.4%)
The sixth wealthiest state by gross state product, Pennsylvania also has held a relatively low rate of unemployment — marked at 7.4% as of July 2011.
1.85 million homes are under mortgage in Pennsylvania, while only 156,736 are underwater. Another 71,044 maintain near-negative equity. Net homeowner equity stands at $152.6 billion, with a 61.8% loan-to-value ratio.
#3: Oklahoma (7.9%)
The second Great Plains entry on this list, Oklahoma has maintained a uniquely low unemployment rate throughout the recession — a minor 5.6%.
The state is home to 422,501 mortgages, 33,205 maintaining negative equity, and another 23,233 standing in near-negative equity. Net homeowner equity holds at $16.98 billion, with the loan-to-value ratio at 72.3%.
#2: Alaska (6.9%)
The second best state for homeowners, Alaska’s per capita income is the 15th highest in the nation — which measures well against the low cost of housing.
Alaskans are holding 90,567 mortgages, of which only 6,273 carry negative equity and another 4,430 near-negative equity. Net homeowner equity is $8.54 billion, and the state’s loan-to-value ratio is 66.1%.
#1: New York (6.4%)
The third-most populous state in the union, New York also is ranked sixth in the nation by per capita income.
There are more than 1.9 million mortgages in New York state, only 122,125 of which have negative equity, while another 45,507 have near-negative equity. The state’s net homeowner equity is over $433.5 billion. New York also has the nation’s best loan-to-value ratio — 48.9%.
See Also: 5 Worst States for Homeowners