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The sinking feeling in home values

Zillow: Nationwide decline to hit $2 trillion in '08

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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 propertie...