NEW YORK May 9 U.S. home values fell in the
first quarter at the fastest rate since late 2008, real estate
data firm Zillow Inc said on Monday, suggesting that a bottom
will not be seen until 2012 at the earliest.
Zillow said its home value index fell 3 percent in the
first three months of the year from the previous quarter, and
was down 8.2 percent year-over-year.
The number of homeowners under water -- or, those who owe
more on the mortgage than their house is currently worth --
amounted to 28.4 percent of single-family homeowners,
representing a peak since Zillow began calculating the data in
That was up from 27 percent in the fourth quarter of last
Foreclosures also rose, following the moratoriums that had
been in place in late 2010. In March, one out of every 1,000
homes was in foreclosure.
Given all those factors, it is unlikely home values will
reach a bottom this year, Zillow said, and the firm pushed its
forecast out to 2012.
"Home value declines are currently equal to those we
experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession.
With accelerating declines during the first quarter, it is
unreasonable to expect home values to return to stability by
the end of 2011," Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries said in
Almost all of the 132 markets covered by Zillow saw home
value declines. Only Fort Myers in Florida, Champaign-Urbana in
Illinois, and Honolulu, Hawaii, managed quarterly increases.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Gunna Dickson)