NEW YORK (Reuters) - A record number of U.S. homeowners thought their homes had depreciated in value in February, according to a Reuters/University of Michigan survey published on Friday.
Among those surveyed, 64 percent reported declines in the value of their homes, sharply up from 35 percent a year earlier and just 3 percent in the February 2006 survey. Just 9 percent thought the value of their home had risen, the lowest recorded since that question was first asked nearly two decades ago.
The outlook for home prices in the year ahead was grim as only 8 percent anticipated any increase in the value of their home and 30 percent expected a decline, the most negative balance of opinion recorded.
Overall, an average nationwide decline of 2.0 percent was anticipated during the year ahead, just ahead of a 1.9 percent drop expected in the January survey and the largest expected decline recorded.
“Importantly, there were relatively few homeowners who thought home price declines would persist over the next five years,” the survey added, however.
Indeed, 58 percent of homeowners anticipated increases in their home’s value in the next five years, a figure that has remained largely unchanged over the past few years, while just 9 percent anticipated long-term declines.
“Owners of homes that were valued in the top third of the distribution anticipated the largest declines as well as a larger long-term rebound than owners with homes valued in the lowest third of the distribution, although the difference has narrowed considerably over the past year,” the survey said.
Western residents anticipated the largest year-ahead declines, a 3.0 percent drop, as well as the largest rebound in home prices over the next five years, a 3.5 percent gain.
In contrast, residents of the Midwest expected nearly as large year-ahead declines, at 2.9 percent, but anticipated the smallest rebound of any region over the next five years, a 1.6 percent gain.
Editing by James Dalgleish