Signs of home value improvement
In an early sign of improvement, several hard-hit markets in California, like Los Angeles, San Diego and Modesto, have seen two or more consecutive quarters of smaller year-over-year declines in home values. In total, 17 markets have seen improvement for two or more quarters in year-over-year results, according to Q1 2009 Zillow Real Estate Market Reports Home values in the United States fell again in the first quarter, posting a year-over-year decline of 14.2 percent to a Zillow Home Value Index of $182,378, which encompass 161 metropolitan areas and cover the value changes in all homes, not just homes that have recently sold. Declining home values left one fifth (21.9 percent) of all American homeowners with negative equity by the end of the first quarter. By comparison, 17.6 percent of all homeowners owed more on their mortgage than their property was worth in the fourth quarter of 2008, and one in seven (14.3 percent) was underwater in the third quarter of 2008.