Harris Interactive and Zillow.com perform a study each quarter that measures how homeowners view their home’s value versus actual market stats. Former studies show homeowners held a belief that their home’s values were steady or rising despite the reality that values were dropping, showing a standard optimism of homeowners (you know the ol’ “well MY house is valuable, *I* made a good investment” line we hear all the time).
In the last quarter of 2009 however, homeowner sentiment has quickly slipped into pessimism, as the report shows that only 20% of homeowners believed their house increased in value in the previous year when they actually increased nationally nearly 30%, according to Zillow.com
Per the map below, Midwesterners lean optimistic, Southerners nearly match reality and Northeastern homeowners are the most pessimistic (click image to enlarge):
With data that strays so widely, homeowners are clearly confused as they are pounded with the good news/ bad news cycle put forth by bloggers and traditional media. The reality on the ground though is that it IS confusing and no one knows quite where we’re going with forecasting all over the map, just like homeowner sentiment.