Homeowners on their homes' value
Most homeowners think their home values have dropped in the past year, but they're fairly optimistic about the near future, according to a new Zillow poll.
Across the U.S., 57 percent of homeowners say their values are down -- more than those who said as much the last time Zillow did this poll, but still fewer than the number Zillow says have actually lost value. By Zillow's reckoning, about three-quarters of homes are worth less now than they were a year ago.
Asked what they think their home values will do in the next six months, only 30 percent said "decrease." Forty-three percent think their values will stay put and the rest are counting on upward movement. (On the other hand, nearly half say values in their local market will decrease, which suggests an element of "I'm immune but you're not, neighbor.")
As Zillow puts it, "homeowners are going where no economist dares to tread today -- they're calling a bottom."
The Northeast, which includes Maryland, has (according to Zillow) a lower-than-average share of decreasing values in the past year -- 71 percent. Northeastern homeowners fare best on Zillow's "Misperception Index" in part because they're a little more likely than average to think their values have dropped (58 percent). They're just as optimistic as the country overall about the next six months.
Harris Interactive, which conducted the poll for Zillow last month, says it can't offer a margin of error estimate because the online survey didn't draw from a probability sample. (That's your daily recommended allowance of wonk.) Just under 2,300 people participated.