Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nationwide home values decline in first quarter

Home values in most U.S. markets continued to decline in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Zillow Home Value Index which decreased 3.8 percent year-over-year, and 1 percent quarter-over-quarter. However, home values in several California markets showed signs of improvement, according to the report.

Housing market conditions varied across the country, with 106 of the 135 areas tracked by Zillow continuing to decline on a year-over-year basis. Negative equity rose to 23.3 percent in the first quarter nationwide compared with 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, Zillow reported. Foreclosures reached a new peak in March, with more than one out of every 1,000 U.S. homes entering into foreclosure during the month.

Home values in the Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Ventura MSAs have stabilized significantly in the past year, marking what may be a bottom, according to the report. Home values in those markets have risen significantly for the past 10 months, following lows set in April or May 2009.

Foreclosure resales nationwide accounted for more than one-fifth (22.2 percent) of all U.S. home sales. Foreclosure resales also accounted for the majority of sales in several MSAs, including 66.3 percent in the Merced MSA; 63 percent in the Madera MSA); and 61.7 percent the Modesto MSA.

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