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Zillow: One third of homes sold for a loss

1 in 7 homeowners 'upside down' in September

Nearly one out of three homes sold in the last year was sold at a loss, and an estimated one in seven U.S. homeowners were "upside down" on their loans at the end of September, according an analysis of public records in 163 markets by Zillow. Zillow estimates that the percentage of borrowers upside down -- owing more on their mortgage than their home was worth -- was even higher among those who bought in the last five years: 29.5 percent. Nationwide, home prices have fallen 9.7 percent in the last year and 12.8 percent since the market peak in 2006, Zillow said. Homeowners were considered to have negative equity if Zillow's estimate of their home's current value was less than the original mortgage, the company said in releasing its third-quarter market report. Many real estate professionals question the accuracy of Zillow's home valuations, however, and the company said it also excluded principal payments and equity withdrawals since loan origination in its cal...

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