According to the Zillow Home Value Index (HVI), we have just completed our 17th consecutive quarter in declining home prices as values declined 1.2% from the previous quarter and 4.3% since Q3 2009. Although not a steep decline, it is consistent with other economic indicators pointing to a continued gradual decline as 77% of markets covered by Zillow experienced value dips.
According to Zillow, “with home values 25% below their June 2006 peak, the current housing downturn is approaching Great Depression-era declines, when home values fell 25.9% in five years.”
“While not unexpected, the unceasing declines in home values signal that we’re in for a long, bleak winter of continued troubles for the housing market,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression’s real estate downturn, and, with encouraging signs fading, will easily eclipse it in the coming months.
Additionally, Zillow began taking a closer look at other indicators last year, thus began tracking negative equity. Since they began tracking, the percentage of homeowners underwater has crept up to where it sits now at 23.2% of all single family loan holders.
Humphries said, “The high percentage of homeowners in negative equity continues to be troubling, in that it represents a huge number of people who are not only more vulnerable to foreclosure, but who are essentially trapped in their current homes and are prevented from selling and buying a new home. This has profound implications for future demand and will be a millstone around the neck of the housing market.”
Zillow HVI methodology: “The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate® valuation for a given geographic area on a given day and includes the value of all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of whether they sold within a given period. The Home Value Index at the national level is calculated using a weighted average of the median home value for each county and includes data from 440 metropolitan statistical areas. It is expressed in dollars and is for a particular geographic region.”