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Home values drop to their lowest levels since recession

Posted On Mon, May 9, 2011

The latest sign the housing market continues to struggle comes from a new report indicating home values have fallen to their lowest levels since the recession.

According to Zillow's Real Estate Market Report, property values in the U.S. from January to March had their worst performance since 2008, falling 3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 and 8.2 percent compared to last year's first quarter, with the average home value being $169,600.

Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow, said the real estate market's current woes don't bode well in the short term.

"Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession," said Humphries. "With accelerating declines during the first quarter, it is unreasonable to expect home values to return to stability by the end of 2011."

Of the 132 metropolitan markets surveyed by Zillow, 97 percent registered home value declines, the most precipitous being in Phoenix, Tampa, Atlanta and Sacramento.

Unlike property values, the coverage purchased for home insurance does not decrease. Policyholders are guaranteed full protection in the event their home is damaged so long as they are paying their premiums.  

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