Zillow: Home values stable in November

Though home prices experienced another year-over-year decrease in November, Zillow reports residential property values remained mostly unchanged from a month earlier, indicating some stabilization.

Though home prices experienced another year-over-year decrease in November, Zillow reports residential property values remained mostly unchanged from a month earlier, indicating some stabilization.

According to Zillow's Home Value Index, the reading for November dipped 4.6 percent from the same month in 2010. However, the index only declined 0.1 percent from October. The national average for home prices finished November at $147,800.

Additionally, in three of five housing markets surveyed, the report indicates home values grew or stayed flat on a monthly basis - up from roughly one-quarter of the 165 markets reported showing price improvements in November 2011.

Dr. Stan Humphries, chief economist for the real estate information firm, said a variety of positive trends for the housing market have emerged with the release of Zillow's report.

"Overall, we are seeing encouraging signs in housing data such as sequential months of slowing depreciation rates, stabilizing markets and organic improvement in value trends, largely in the absence of government policy intervention," he said.

Humphries added, though that there are still many areas the market can show improvements, including getting foreclosed homes for sale off the listings. Until that happens, home prices will likely remain low, he said.

"Even with the anticipated increase in foreclosures, look for 2012 to be a transitional year in which home values fall modestly followed by a prolonged period of flat home values," said Humphries.

He concluded that the housing market is roughly three to five years from returning to pre-crisis levels.

Among the top-25 largest housing markets in the U.S., Phoenix saw home prices rise the most on a month-to-month basis with a hike of 0.8 percent, the report noted. New York City experienced the biggest monthly drop, meanwhile, as values fell 0.8 percent.

However, home prices remained the highest in the Big Apple among the largest real estate sectors with an average of $340,100. On the other end of the home value spectrum was Detroit, where prices were once again the lowest during November, due in part to the many foreclosures the city has faced in recent years, finishing the period at an average of $72,900.

In a white paper to Congress, the Federal Reserve also stated the home prices are likely to stay down in hard-hit markets, such as Detroit, as long as the foreclosure pipeline nationwide is substantial.



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