U.S. home values are poised to drop by more than $1.7 trillion this year amid rising foreclosures and the expiration of homebuyer tax credits, said Zillow Inc., a closely held provider of home price data.
This year’s estimated decline, more than the $1.05 trillion drop in 2009, brings the loss since the June 2006 home-price peak to $9 trillion, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement.
“It’s definitely going to continue into 2011,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television today. “The back half of 2010 looked horrible and 2011 should look like the mirror image of that.”
The drop in home values pushed more buyers underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, Zillow said.
The percentage of homeowners with mortgages with so-called negative equity reached 23.2 percent in the third quarter, up from 21.8 percent at the end of 2009.
Housing demand has slumped since the start of the year as the government tax credit expired and unemployment hovers near 10 percent.
Sales of existing homes in October fell to an annual pace of 4.43 million, compared with 5.98 million a year earlier and an annual average of 5.81 million over the past decade, the National Association of Realtors said Nov. 23. The median price was $170,500, down from $172,000 a year earlier.
By Hui-yong Yu and John Gittelsohn – Dec 9, 2010 2:08 PM PT