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Home values decline from 2010

Tue., May 10, 2011

Spokane County homeowners took a loss on almost one-third of home sales in March, according to online real estate database Zillow.

In figures released Monday, Zillow also said the median sales price was $162,800.

But Zillow said the median home value was $133,800, 14.2 percent below first-quarter 2010. Nationwide, values fell 8.2 percent. Zillow calculations of home values incorporate all homes, not just those sold.

The Spokane Association of Realtors, using sales figures only, said the March median price was $154,000, off 3.8 percent from 2010.

In April, during which 332 homes sold, the median price was $163,000, the average $166,686. The average a year ago was $179,907. The median price was $153,157.

The inventory of homes on the market, 2,874, has fallen almost 16 percent compared with a year ago.

Seattle-based Zillow estimates that the owners of 37.4 percent of all Spokane homes with mortgages were under water – meaning they owed more on the homes than they could sell them for in the current market – during the quarter, up from 21.8 percent one year ago. The national rate is 28.4 percent.

But only 16.6 percent of sales were foreclosed properties, compared with a national rate for March of 23.7 percent, a record.

Spokane homes have fallen 28.8 percent in value from their peak in July 2007, said Zillow, adding that values have returned to the level of June 2006.

Seattle homes fell 11.7 percent in value compared with last year, and 32.1 percent since their peak. More than one-third of owners owe more than their homes are worth.

Zillow had projected a bottom for real estate prices nationally sometime in 2011, but based on disappointing first-quarter trends has pushed the turnaround at least into 2012.

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