The number of homes "underwater" continues to decline, according to a new report.

This has nothing to do with flooding. These are homeowners who owe more on the house than what the property is worth on the market.

Nationally, the number of underwater homes is 9.3 percent, according to Darren Blomquist, of Attom Data Solutions, the real estate property scorekeeper for equity in homes, or the lack of it.

Here in New Jersey, it is roughly 1 in 10 homes.

Blomquist says that "as home prices slowly go up, we are seeing that the percentage is gradually coming down."

"I attribute the small decrease to the fact that more homeowners are leveraging equity in their homes."

But Blomquist says some counties are lagging.

Atlantic is the worst with 21 percent of underwater mortgages. That's followed by Cumberland and Warren at 16 percent and Camden County at 14 percent.

On the flip side, Blomquist says 1 in 4 Jersey properties are "equity rich," meaning owners owe the bank 50 percent or less of what the home is worth.

"A year ago, we saw that was at 23 percent of all homeowners. Now it is up to 26 percent."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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