Most Homeowners See Real Estate Stabilizing This Year

August 18, 2009 No Comments »


The overwhelming majority of U.S. homeowners believe their homes will hold their current value or gain in value over the next six months, according to real estate service Zillow.

That’s the highest percentage on record since the first quarterly Homeowner Confidence Survey, which began all the way back in the second quarter of 2008.

Along with that optimism, 60 percent came to terms with the fact that their homes probably lost value over the past 12 months, though in reality, 83 percent did so.

“Hope springs eternal for the U.S. homeowner,” said Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist, in a release. “While their perceptions of past declines in their homes’ values have gotten more realistic over the past year, each quarter homeowners express the opinion that the worst is behind them.”

“Unfortunately, that has not been the case thus far and it’s far from clear that it’s the case today. Despite some signs of slowing depreciation in many markets in the second quarter – the height of the 2009 home-buying season – there are many market fundamentals that will challenge home prices in the near-term: high for-sale inventory levels, foreclosures, negative equity, and price-to-rent ratios that still aren’t back to historical levels yet.”

When asked about plans to sell their homes, 29 percent said they would be least “somewhat likely” to put their homes on the market if real estate showed signs of a turnaround, creating “shadow inventory” that could dampen the recovery.

Asked what would indicate a housing recovery, the prevailing answer shifted from rising home sales to better employment numbers, so there you have it.

Oh, and homeowners in the South were the most unrealistic about house values, while those in the West were the most on target.

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