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U.S. Home Values Drop Nearly 10% in Q2 Leaving Almost One-Third of Homeowners Who Bought in the Past Five Years Underwater on Their Mortgages

One in four homes sold in past year was for a loss; Foreclosed homes account for 50% of all home sales in some markets, according to Q2 2008 Zillow® Real Estate Market Reports

Aug 12, 2008

SEATTLE, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. home values in the second quarter posted the largest year-over-year decline in the past 12 years(1), dropping 9.9 percent from the year-ago quarter and 1.7 percent from the first quarter to a U.S. Zillow Home Value Index (HVI) of $206,919(2), according to the Q2 Zillow Real Estate Market Reports(3) released today. The median U.S. home value has not been this low since the fourth quarter of 2004, leaving nearly one-third (29.1%) of homeowners who purchased since 2003 with negative equity(4).


Zillow expanded its Real Estate Market Reports this quarter, adding a number of new measures to monitor 165 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), which is the largest sample of markets by any housing report. The significant majority of MSAs (140) lost value since the second quarter of 2007 and those in some of the hardest hit markets have seen more than one-third of their home's value lost in the past year. For example, the Zillow Home Value Index in Stockton, Calif. fell 38.2 percent from the year-ago quarter while the Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami areas have fallen 27.4 percent, 21.4 percent and 20.8 percent respectively.

Not surprisingly, homeowners who have experienced the most significant value declines are at most risk of being underwater on their mortgages -- meaning they owe more than their home is currently worth. Nationwide, for those who purchased their home since the beginning of 2003, nearly one in three (29.1%) now have negative equity. The highest rates of negative equity are among those who purchased in 2006, when most markets peaked, as nearly half (45%) of those buyers across the U.S. now face negative equity after placing a median down payment of 10 percent. The rate is nearly double for those in the Stockton MSA where nearly every homeowner (95%) who bought in 2006 -- with a median down payment of zero -- is underwater.

The increasing rates of negative equity coupled with rising rates of foreclosures continue to have an impact on the macro real estate market. To help monitor these effects, Zillow has added new measures to its reports under the label Distress Signals, which tracks, by quarter, the percentage of homes sold for a loss and the percentage of homes sold in foreclosure, dating back to 2003. Nationwide, nearly one in four (23.7%) homes sold during the past year sold for a loss while nearly 15 percent of sales were foreclosures(5). In parts of California, more than 60 percent of homes sold in the past year were for a loss while homes sold in foreclosure exceeded 50 percent. In New York- Northern New Jersey-Long Island MSA, which has the lowest rates of foreclosure among the markets monitored by Zillow, the percentage of homes sold for a loss since the second quarter 2007 is 8.8 percent and the percent of homes that sold in foreclosure is 3 percent.

In many markets, the rate of these Distress Signals is two to three times what was reported just a year ago. For example, 32.7 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were sold for a loss and 18.6 percent were foreclosure sales compared to the year-ago quarter when the rates were 12.2 percent and 7 percent respectively. In the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont MSA, for example, nearly half (48%) of all homes sold in the second quarter recorded a loss while 34.3 percent were foreclosed; however, just a year ago, the rates were 14.9 percent and 10.7 percent respectively.

"The second quarter is the sixth consecutive quarter of home value declines and we see little promise of turnaround in the short-term as the rates of decline have yet to slow and, in fact, actually accelerated in many markets," said Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow's vice president of data and analytics. "The high rates of negative equity are having a direct effect on home sales figures as we've seen considerable growth in foreclosure transactions and homes selling for a loss. Unfortunately, while there are a few bright spots -- like Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City and Austin that reached record-high values -- most markets are likely to remain in negative territory for the next few quarters given the magnitude of current year-over-year declines."

Although the significant majority of markets reported year-over-year depreciation this quarter, 148 -- or 90 percent -- returned positive annualized appreciation over the past five years and every market has shown positive appreciation over the past 10 years. For the nation, these rates are 4.4 percent and 6.5 percent respectively. For example, despite a 21.4 percent year-over-year decline in median values, the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana MSA returned annualized appreciation of 4.8 percent over the past five years and 9.1 percent over past 10 years. The Oklahoma City MSA, which has not demonstrated the rapid upswing of other markets, delivered a modest 1.1 percent gain from the second quarter of 2007 and has returned 6.1 percent annualized returns over five years and 5.7 percent over 10 years.

Interestingly, homeowners seem to be oblivious to the reality of the housing market as it pertains to their individual home. As reported last week through the Q2 Zillow Homeowner Confidence Survey(6), 62 percent of homeowners think their home value increased or stayed the same in the past year and 75 percent expect their home value to increase or stay the same in the next six months. Based on the Q2 Real Estate Market Reports, 77 percent of homes actually declined in value over the past year, a slight increase from the 75 percent that declined year-over-year in the first quarter.

For more information, including the full national report, 165 local reports and the Q2 Zillow Homeowner Confidence Survey, visit Highlights for select MSAs from the Zillow reports can be found below:

Select MSAs with High Rates of YOY Depreciation, Negative Equity and Sales for

                          Loss/Foreclosure Sales

                                 Q2       Q2
                               Zillow     HVI %   % Change         When
         MSA                    Home     Change     from         Market was
  (ranked by population        Value     (YoY)     Market        last at Q2
       size)                   Index                Peak           Level

  United States                $206,919   -9.9%    -13.3%        2004-Q4
  Los Angeles-Long Beach-
   Santa Ana, CA               $460,723  -21.4%    -23.7%        2004-Q1
   MI                          $124,126  -12.9%    -20.3%        1999-Q4
  Miami-Fort Lauderdale-
   Miami Beach, FL             $226,101  -20.8%    -26.8%        2004-Q4
  San Francisco-Oakland-
   Fremont, CA                 $557,208  -16.7%    -19.1%        2004-Q1
   Scottsdale, AZ              $205,520  -19.3%    -28.8%        2004-Q4
  Las Vegas-Paradise, NV       $205,501  -27.4%    -34.4%        2003-Q4
  Stockton, CA                 $216,100  -38.2%    -47.6%        2002-Q2

                                % Homes       %           % of       % of
                               Sold for  Foreclosure(7)  Purchases  2006(9)
                                 a Loss   Transactions    since    Purchases
           MSA                  (Past 12   (Past 12      2003(8)      w/
   (ranked by population size)   months)     months)    w/Negative  Negative
                                                         Equity     Equity

  United States                    23.7%     14.5%        29.1%      44.8%
  Los Angeles-Long Beach-
   Santa Ana, CA                   38.3%     31.9%        39.9%      71.1%
  Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI       46.2%     38.5%        52.4%      53.8%
  Miami-Fort Lauderdale-
   Miami Beach, FL                 20.2%       **         44.6%      76.2%
  San Francisco-Oakland-
   Fremont, CA                     37.2%     29.2%        36.8%      56.1%
  Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ      38.1%       31%        40.1%      75.5%
  Las Vegas-Paradise, NV           54.7%     40.5%          56%      72.8%
  Stockton, CA                     63.4%     57.7%        79.5%      94.7%

Select MSAs with YOY Value Gains or Stabilization and Many Q2 Market Peaks

                               Q2         Q2                      When
                              Zillow      HVI      % Change     Market
                              Home      % Change    from        was last
           MSA                Value      (YoY)      Market       at Q2
    (ranked by population     Index                  Peak        Level

  United States             $206,919    -9.9%      -13.3%        2004-Q4
  Dallas-Fort Worth-
   Arlington, TX            $138,944       0%          0%        2007-Q1
  Pittsburgh, PA            $117,782     0.6%          0%        2008-Q1
  Tulsa, OK                 $111,888     3.9%          0%        2008-Q1
  Oklahoma City             $114,493     1.1%          0%        2008-Q1
  Austin-Round Rock, TX     $199,915     1.2%          0%        2008-Q1
  Raleigh-Cary, NC          $207,798     0.8%       -0.6%        2007-Q4
  Grand Junction, CO        $226,586     4.9%          0%        2008-Q1

                                  % Homes      %          % of       % of
                                Sold for  Foreclosure(7) Purchases   2006(9)
                                  a Loss  Transactions    since    Purchases
              MSA                (Past 12  (Past 12     2003(8) w/    w/
   (ranked by population size)    months)   months)      Negative   Negative
                                                          Equity     Equity

  United States                     23.7%     14.5%        29.1%      44.8%
  Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX    9.7%       **          9.9%       9.8%
  Pittsburgh, PA                      11%       **           **         **
  Tulsa, OK                         13.7%       **          9.3%         7%
  Oklahoma City                     11.2%      3.9%        11.6%      15.6%
  Austin-Round Rock, TX              4.8%       **          3.1%       1.5%
  Raleigh-Cary, NC                  10.8%      6.5%          **         **
  Grand Junction, CO                 4.4%      3.6%         1.2%       0.9%

  About® is an online real estate community where homeowners, buyers, sellers, real estate agents and mortgage professionals find and share vital information about homes, for free. Launched in early 2006 with Zestimate® values and data on millions of U.S. homes, Zillow has since opened the site to community input, data and dialogue. One of the most-visited U.S. real estate Web sites, Zillow's goal is to help people become smarter about real estate in every stage of the home ownership process -- buying, selling, remodeling and financing. The company is headquartered in Seattle and has raised $87 million in funding., Zillow, and Zestimate are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

  (1) Zillow's data includes Zestimate valuations dating back to 1996. The
      9.9% year-over-year depreciation calculated for Q2 was the largest
      drop from the prior-year period in Zillow's historical database.

  (2) The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate valuation for a
      given geographic area on a given day and includes the value of all
      single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of
      whether they sold within a given period. The Home Value Index at the
      national and MSA levels is calculated using a weighted average of the
      median home value for each county. It is expressed in dollars and is
      for a particular geographic region.

  (3) The data in Zillow's Real Estate Market Reports is aggregated from
      public sources by a number of data providers for 165 Metropolitan
      Statistical Areas dating back to 1996. Mortgage and home loan data is
      typically recorded in each county and publicly available through a
      county recorder's office.

  (4) Negative Equity indicates that the current home value as of June 30,
      2008 is less than the original mortgage.  To be conservative,
      principal payments and equity withdrawals since initial loan
      origination have been excluded from the analysis, which is consistent
      with standard reporting practices.

  (5) While many foreclosure transactions are included in the number of
      homes sold for loss not all are included, as there are foreclosed
      homes that sell for more than the foreclosed owner originally paid.

  (6) The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive within the
      United States on behalf of between June 30, 2008 and July
      2, 2008 among 2,067 adults ages 18+ of whom 1,361 are homeowners. A
      full methodology, including weighting variables, is available.

  (7) A foreclosure transaction is recorded after a homeowner is forced to
      surrender their deed to either the bank or a third party who buys the
      home at an auction.

  (8) Percentage of home purchases with negative equity in column indicates
      how many homeowners who purchased in each corresponding MSA from
      January 1, 2003 through June 30, 2008 have home values that are lower
      than the original loan amount as of June 30, 2008.

  (9) Percentage of home purchases with negative equity in column indicates
      how many homeowners who purchased in each corresponding MSA in 2006
      now have home values that are lower than the original loan amount as
      of June 30, 2008.

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