Are seniors still worried about selling their homes and moving into senior housing because of declining home values? You betcha with numbers like these… According to the latest figures released by Zillow, the statistics show that 21.9 percent of all American homeowners have negative equity at the end of the 1st quarter. This is a jump from the fourth quarter of 2008 from 17 percent. Some markets have shown nine consecutive quarters of declines have left eight regions – including the Modesto, Calif., Stockton, Calif. and Fort Myers, Fla. regions – with median value declines of more than 50 percent since those markets peaked.
"Slowing declines in select markets are a bright spot or, at least, what passes for one given current market conditions," said Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow vice president of data and analytics. "Unfortunately, given the magnitude of the current rates of decline, we’re still many months away from a bottom even as depreciation slows. Moreover, the additional information we have this quarter on ‘shadow inventory,’ with one-third of homeowners indicating they would like to put their home on the market if conditions improve, confirms our earlier fears that a bottom in home values could be quite protracted. By our calculations, this could translate into as many as 20 million homes that could seep into the market as prices stabilize, maintaining a constant stream of supply that far outpaces demand, thus keeping prices flat. I’m doubtful that we’ll see the bottom until 2010, and thereafter it’s increasingly clear that we’re likely to have a long bottom before we see meaningful recovery in home values."
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