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Nev. leads in underwater homes as market improves

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Analysts say Nevada still leads the nation in underwater mortgages, although rising home prices have improved the overall equity situation in the U.S.

A report released Tuesday by analytic firm Corelogic reports 52.4 percent of mortgaged properties in Nevada have negative equity. That's more than Florida, which ranks second with 40.2 percent of properties underwater, and third-place Arizona, with nearly 35 percent of properties underwater.

Underwater is also called negative equity and means a borrower owes more on their mortgage than their home is worth.

Negative equity in the U.S. totaled $628 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012, down by $42 billion from the previous quarter.

Corelogic President Anand Nallathambi says the negative equity "scourge" continues to recede, and the trend will likely continue in 2013.