Decline in home values rivals Great Depression

Share of 'underwater' homeowners at new peak

Home values fell nationwide for the 17th straight quarter in the third quarter, according to a report from property valuation site Zillow.

Zillow’s Home Value Index, which tracks median home values in 440 metropolitan statistical areas across the country, fell 4.3 percent compared to the third quarter of 2009 and 1.2 percent compared to the second quarter, to $179,900.

That’s a 25 percent drop from the market’s peak in June 2006 when the index stood at $239,765. That compares with a 25.9 percent drop in home values in the five years between 1929-33, according to "Irrational Exuberance" by Robert J. Shiller (of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index), Zillow said.