The decline in U.S. home values and prices is slowing considerably, according to a quarterly analysis conducted by real estate research firm Zillow, indicating the housing market may be stabilizing. That’s good news for trucking as the U.S. housing market produced 37% of the industry’s freight mix between 2006 and 2011, according to data compiled by FTR Associates.
Zillow’s most recent real estate market report indicated home values in the U.S. fell 0.4% from the first to the second quarter of 2011 – the smallest quarterly decline in more than four years, according to the firm. Zillow’s home value index (HVI) also registered one of the slowest decreases in recent years, falling just 6.2% year-over-year to $171,600. Overall home values have fallen 28.8% since they peaked in June 2006, the firm added.
Regionally, home values fell on a year-over-year basis in 142 of the 154 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) covered by Zillow and were flat in eight. In the short term, however, nearly two-thirds of MSAs (94 out of 154) experienced home value appreciation, with the Zillow HVI rising from the first to the second quarter.
“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,” noted Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist.
“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,” he added. “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.”