A note to homeowners: the calamitous decline in your home's value during the last year may be slowing.
In a new report, the real estate data website Zillow spotlights some tentative bright spots in an otherwise bleak real estate landscape. According to Zillow's figures, total home values in the U.S. declined by $489 billion in the first 11 months of the year. That marks an 87-percent decline from the $3.6 trillion loss of value that homeowners suffered in 2008.
The housing markets which showed the biggest gains, according to Zillow were Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA; and Rochester, NY.
The worst housing markets this year included Los Angeles, which topped the list losing total value of $50.8 billion, followed by Chicago, Miami, New York City and Phoenix.
But Zillow's chief economist Stan Humphries offered a sober reminder of the gigantic overhang in housing inventory. And a recent report by First American CoreLogic found that nearly one in four U.S. mortgage holders have negative equity on their homes. Here's Humphries's outlook for 2010:
The 2009 numbers are encouraging, but our optimism for next year is cautious. The government's tax credits and low mortgage rates are spurring a lot of demand, but the tax credits will end after the first quarter, and mortgage rates are likely to rise at that time as well (as the Fed ramps down its purchase of mortgage-backed securities). In addition, foreclosures are likely to rise. All of these factors will put downward pressure on home prices, so the possibility of another dip in prices does exist.
Read the entire report at Zillow.
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