The Fourth Quarter of 2008 finds US homeowner levels back to the same level as the year 2000. Eight years of "gains" wiped out.
And for those who still own (or "own") their home, Bloomberg reports: "The U.S. housing market lost $3.3 trillion in value last year and almost one in six owners with mortgages owed more than their homes were worth...."
“It’s like a runaway train gaining momentum,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s vice president of data and analytics, said in an interview. “It’s difficult to say when we’ll see a bottom to the housing market.”
On the Zillow blog, details include:
- More than one-third (34.6 percent) of homes sold in 2008 were sold for a loss, up from 30.2 percent for the twelve months ending Q3 2008.
- The higher rates of negative equity and increasing economic insecurity are combining to push foreclosure rates higher.
- 10.9 percent of all transactions in the United States in 2008 were short sales, or homes sales where the lender agreed to a home price less than the amount owed on the mortgage in order to avoid the cost and time of a foreclosure.