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Latest market report shows signs of US property market stabilising

Nationally property values show recent rises in many markets and in others the decline is slowing, the company’s second quarter real estate market report shows.

Year on year values have dropped 6.2% with 142 of 154 markets in Zillow's report showing declines. But recent trends were more positive, with home values falling 0.4% from the first to the second quarter, the smallest quarterly decline in more than four years.
Nearly two thirds, 94 of the 154 markets in Zillow's report experienced home value appreciation and negative equity fell slightly to 26.8% of single family homes with mortgages from 28.4% in the first quarter of the year.

However, despite positive signs in the short term, Zillow's chief economist Stan Humphries continues to predict a true bottom in home values will not be reached until 2012 at the earliest because of factors like foreclosures, negative equity and fluctuations in demand for homes.

The average property is now worth $171,600 and values have fallen 28.8% since they peaked in June 2006.
Also the rate of foreclosure re-sales declined from its peak in March 2011, when 21.4% of all sales were foreclosure re-sales. In June, 19.7% of sales were foreclosure re-sales.

‘While there are many positive signs in the second quarter, and it is clear the post tax credit free fall of home values is over, we're not out of the woods yet,’ said Humphries.

‘It is very encouraging that two thirds of markets in our report experienced home value appreciation, but we have to remember that this is coming on the heels of one of the worst quarters since the housing recession began, he explained.

‘We expect a bumpy road ahead. There will be many ups and downs in home values before this is over and we continue to expect a true bottom in 2012, at the earliest. There are still hazards in the form of a full foreclosure pipeline, high negative equity and fluctuations in demand,’ he added.

While nearly two-thirds of markets showed appreciation from the first to the second quarter of 2011, far fewer have recorded a longer period of stabilization. Only 25 of the 154 MSAs covered in Zillow's Real Estate Market Reports showed two consecutive quarters of appreciation.
Among those MSAs were Washington, D.C., where the median home value increased 1.7% from the first to the second quarter after increasing 0.2% from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the first of 2011; and Pittsburgh, where home values increased 2.8% from the first to the second quarter, and increased 0.1% from the fourth to the first quarter.