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One-Third Who Sold Homes in Past Year Lost Money, Zillow Says
Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- One-third of U.S. homeowners who sold their property in the 12 months through September lost money as foreclosures depressed prices and more Americans became unemployed in a weakening economy, Zillow.com reported.
Home values fell 9.7 percent in the third quarter, the seventh consecutive decline, to a median $202,966, Seattle-based Zillow, a seller of real estate data, said in a report today. One in seven homeowners had negative equity, or owed more on their mortgages than their houses were worth.
``It's clear we are at a unique point in history,'' Stan Humphries, Zillow's vice president of data and analytics, said in a statement. ``We've had seven consecutive quarters of decline, and we expect that to continue until at least the middle of next year. Most markets are still seeing five-year annualized returns, but we will see more markets slip into flat or negative long-term change as the economy continues to suffer.''
Stricter mortgage standards and record foreclosures are deepening the housing recession amid climbing unemployment. U.S. payrolls fell for a 10th straight month in October and have dropped by 1.2 million so far this year, the Labor Department said last week. The jobless rate is at a five-year high of 6.3 percent.
The 30.2 percent of homeowners who sold at a loss at the end of the third quarter compared with 23.7 percent at the end of the second quarter, Zillow said. Almost one in five transactions were foreclosure sales. California had 14 of the 17 markets where more than half of homes sold were sold at a loss, according to Zillow.