Yesterday, the good folks over at Zillow released the results of its First Quarter 2010 Survey. Was the news good? Sort of. Maybe. A little.
First, the facts:
Home values in California appear to be on the rise. During the First Quarter of 2010, home values in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura County showed marked increases.
Nationwide, home values continued to decline in the first quarter of 2010. The Zillow Home Value Index showed a 3.8% decline for the same period last year — this makes thirteen consecutive quarters with year-over-year declines. In 106 of the 135 markets tracked, home values fell.
Negative equity is rising steadily. In the Fourth Quarter of 2009, 21.4% of single family homes had mortgages that were “underwater” or “upside-down,” meaning that more was owed on the mortgage than the home was worth. In the First Quarter of 2010, that number rose sharply to 23.3% — nearly ¼ of all mortgages on single-family homes.
Foreclosures reached an all-time high in March 2010. According to Zillow’s survey, more than one out of every 1,000 U.S. Homes — a startlingly high number — went into foreclosure that month.
It is interesting to me to compare this national level data with what I am seeing here in Silicon Valley at the Street level, which is always, in my opinion, the most useful way to look at the housing market. Here I am seeing lots of signs of market vitality. Recently, a listing in Cupertino received 14 offers. A listing in San Jose received 6 offers just this week. This seems to be going on at both the entry level – where one might expect to see such things – but also towards the higher end.
This is information that, especially if you’re planning on selling a home, is very important for you to understand. You need the big picture, but also the picture in your neighborhood or on your block.
Please talk to your Intero real estate professional. We’ll make sure you have all of the facts, and every tool at our disposal to make sure that you make educated decisions about your home sale. We’ll tell it to you the only way we know how: like it is.