COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- Ohio's housing market continues to slowly recover, but there are still more than one in four homeowners that owe at least 25 percent more on their homes than they are worth.
"In Ohio that's 27 percent of all homeowners are in that situation and that's the 5th highest of any state," said Darren Bloomquist with RealtyTrac.
Across the state, that's about 580,000 homeowners.
Cleveland has the highest rate among Ohio's major cities, 35 percent. Akron and Dayton are both above 30 percent, Toledo is at 29 percent, Columbus at 23 percent, and Cincinnati at 19 percent. All are still higher than the national average of 17 percent.
Bloomquist says most of the people who find themselves in this situation either bought their home at the top of the market or refinanced their mortgage then.
"Typically, in a healthy housing market, these would be people who have equity in their homes and can go and sell them and move into a new home and that stimulates the housing market, but these are homeowners who are basically, at this point at least, locked into their homes and stuck there until they recover their equity," he said.
There is good news though. A year ago, Ohio's underwater rate was 56 percent.
"You basically cut that in half in a year in Ohio," Bloomquist said.
The biggest reason for the boost is recovering housing prices. Prices have risen about 13 percent in Ohio over the last year.