Research conducted by Zillow, a company that provides online real estate values and other information, found that U.S. home values will plunge a total of $2 trillion this year.

Home values dropped 8.4 percent year-over-year in the first three quarters of 2008 compared to the same period last year, Zillow reported today, for a total nationwide home-value loss of $1.9 trillion.

One in seven (14.3 percent) of all homeowners were underwater by the end of the third quarter, owing more on their mortgage than their homes are worth.

Research conducted by Zillow, a company that provides online real estate values and other information, found that U.S. home values will plunge a total of $2 trillion this year.

Home values dropped 8.4 percent year-over-year in the first three quarters of 2008 compared to the same period last year, Zillow reported today, for a total nationwide home-value loss of $1.9 trillion.

One in seven (14.3 percent) of all homeowners were underwater by the end of the third quarter, owing more on their mortgage than their homes are worth.

Out of 163 metro areas tracked in Zillow’s market report, 30 had gains during the first three quarters of the year compared to the same three quarters in 2007.

The values are based on the company’s estimated values of individual homes, which are calculated with a proprietary formula. The company’s value index calculates the median value of all single-family homes, condos and cooperatives in a given area using this formula, regardless of whether the properties are for sale.

All of the top-five worst-performing markets for home-value changes during the first three quarters (compared to the same period last year) are in California, while three of the five best-performing markets are in North Carolina.

The Stockton, Calif., metro area was the worst-performing housing market in the country during the study period, with values diving 32.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2008 compared to the same period last year. Next on the list was Merced, Calif. (down 31.2 percent); followed by Modesto, Calif. (down 30.4 percent); Salinas, Calif. (down 30 percent); and Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. (down 27.8 percent).

And the best-performing housing markets during the same period were Jacksonville, N.C. (up 4.9 percent); Winston-Salem, N.C. (up 4.1 percent); Anderson, S.C. (up 3.5 percent); State College, Pa. (up 3.4 percent); and Burlington, N.C., up 3.1 percent.

The latest quarterly University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson Forecast noted that declines in U.S. home prices since a record peak in 2006 amount to an estimated $4.5 trillion loss in wealth. And that is coupled with a stock-price slide valued at about $7.4 trillion since December 2007 (see Inman News).

And the Federal Reserve reported this month that the combination of falling prices and stock-market declines amounted to a U.S. household loss in wealth of about $2.8 trillion during the third quarter alone (see Inman News).

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