* U.S. home values continued to decline in the third quarter, falling 4.3 percent year-over-year, and 1.2 percent quarter-over-quarter.
* Negative equity rose to 23.2 percent of single-family homes with mortgages, the highest it has been since tracking began in the first quarter of 2009.
* In five markets, all in California – Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Ventura – home values turned negative quarter-over-quarter after five quarters of gains.
* Foreclosures reached an all-time high at the end of the third quarter, with more than one out of every 1,000 homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure in September.
The United States housing market continued its long decline in the third quarter with home values falling for the 17th consecutive quarter. With home values 25 percent below their June 2006 peak, the current housing downturn is approaching Great Depression-era declines, when home values fell 25.9 percent in five years.
Nearly one-quarter, or 23.2 percent of single-family homeowners with mortgages, were underwater on their mortgage in the third quarter, the highest it has been since tracking negative equity began in 2009. It rose from 22.5 percent in the second quarter.
In some markets, as many as four out of five single-family homeowners with mortgages were underwater on their mortgages in the third quarter. Las Vegas had the highest percentage, with 80.2 percent in negative equity, followed by Phoenix with 68.4 percent. In total, 11 markets tracked had negative equity above 50 percent.
Home values fell from the second to the third quarter in 77 percent of markets covered. In five of those markets – the California metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Ventura – home values began to fall again after five consecutive quarters of increases. Other markets that showed signs of stabilization in previous quarters also faltered, with home values flattening or becoming negative in large areas like Boston and Denver.
The high percentage of homeowners in negative equity continues to be troubling, in that it represents a huge number of people who are not only more vulnerable to foreclosure, but who are essentially trapped in their current homes and are prevented from selling and buying a new home.
As home values continue to fall, additional signs of trouble have emerged. Foreclosures reached a new all-time peak, with 1.2 out of every 1,000 homeowners in the country losing their homes to foreclosure in September. Sales of homes previously foreclosed in the past 12 months reached a near-peak level in September, with foreclosure re-sales making up more than one-fifth (20.1%) of all sales. The last time foreclosure re-sales reached similar levels was in March 2009, when they made up 20.5 percent of all sales.
Additionally, more than one-quarter (27.3%) of homes sold in September were sold for a loss, marking a near-peak level. Homes sold for a loss peaked in February 2010, with 27.7 percent.
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
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According to Zillow Real Estate Market Reports