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by CareyBot

Online real estate site Zillow today reported that about $6.1 trillion in home values have been washed away since the housing market's peak in 2006. And about 17.6 percent of all homeowners were underwater -- owing more than their homes were worth -- at the close of 2008, Zillow reported. The data is based on the company's median home-value estimates, dubbed Zestimates, for homes in 161 metro areas. The estimates include homes for sale and not for sale in a given market area. U.S. homeowners lost an estimated $3.3 trillion in home values last year alone, according to Zillow, with $1.4 trillion of that coming in the fourth quarter. Zillow reported that 10.9 percent of real estate transactions in 2008 were short sales, and foreclosure-related properties accounted for about 19.9...