Thursday, May 7, 2009

Over 20% of US homeowners are underwater

(NEW YORK) Home values in the United States extended their fall in the first quarter, with more than one in five homeowners now owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, real estate website said yesterday.

US home values posted a year-over-year decline of 14.2 per cent to a Zillow Home Value Index of US$182,378, resulting in a total 21.8 per cent drop since the market peaked in 2006, according to Zillow's Q1 Real Estate Market Reports, which encompass 161 metropolitan areas and cover the value changes in all homes, not just homes that have recently sold.

US homes lost US$704 billion in value during Q1 and have depreciated US$3.8 trillion in the past 12 months, according to analysis of the reports.

Declining home values left 21.9 per cent of all American homeowners with negative equity by the end of Q1, Zillow said.

By comparison, 17.6 per cent of all homeowners owed more on their mortgage than their property was worth in Q4 of 2008, and 14.3 per cent were underwater in Q3 of last year, the reports showed.
Nine consecutive quarters of declines have left eight regions - including the Modesto, California, Stockton, California, and Fort Myers, Florida regions - with median value declines of more than 50 per cent since those markets peaked. - Reuters

Source: Business Times, 7 May 2009

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