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Home Values Continued to Tumble in the First Quarter

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Home Values Continued to Tumble in the First QuarterHome values at the end of March were 8.2 percent lower than they were at the same time in 2010, and 1 percent lower than what they were in February, according to the most recent data from the housing market tracking firm Zillow. Currently, the average U.S. home is worth 29.5 percent less than it was at the market’s peak.

Only two cities in the U.S. did not see home values decline on a year-over-year basis during the first quarter, the report said. Honolulu, Hawaii, residents saw their homes increase in value, while those in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, saw neither improvement nor decline. The areas hit hardest by the downturn were Ocala, Florida; Pueblo, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; and Atlanta, Georgia.

In all, 74.5 percent of homes in the U.S. lost value on a year-over-year basis, up from the end of 2010, when 69.2 percent of properties did so, the report said. However, it’s still a major improvement from the 85.5 percent observed at the end of the first quarter in 2009.

As homes lose value, many consumers see their mortgages become “underwater,” meaning they owe more on the loan than the property is worth.

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