Home values nationwide declined 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, the largest quarterly decline since the first quarter of 2009, according to Zillow’s Home Value Index. Year-to-year, the Index declined 5.9 percent. Home values have fallen 27 percent since they peaked in June 2006, according to Zillow’s report.
Accelerating home value declines, as well as a slowdown in the nation’s foreclosure rate following the late-2010 robo-signing controversy, contributed to an increase in negative equity. At the end of the fourth quarter, 27 percent of single-family homeowners with mortgages owed more on their mortgage than their homes were worth, an increase from 23.2 percent in the third quarter.
The accelerated decline in home values brought trouble for home sellers, as more were forced to sell their home for less than the price paid. The rate of homes selling for a loss reached a new peak in December, with more than one-third selling for a loss. The rate of homes sold for a loss has increased steadily for the past six months.
Reprinted from C.A.R. Newlines.
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