Distress transactions hit 18 percent; values fall
Eighteen percent of home sales in the Baltimore metro area in the last year were "distress" transactions -- either foreclosures or short sales. So says a new report from Zillow, the real estate information site.
That's not helping prices any. Home values in the first three months of the year dropped 11.5 percent vs. the same period in '08, according to Zillow. That's a decline to early '05 levels of about $252,000, though the decreases vary depending on the type of house. Cheaper properties shed 7 percent of value while the priciest homes lost twice as much, the company says.
That matches up with Zillow's estimates of how local jurisdictions fared. Baltimore City home values dropped the least -- about 6 percent vs. a year ago -- while expensive Howard County declined the most (16 percent).
The company relies on its "Zestimates," which means these figures are estimates of all home values, not just the price of recently sold properties.
Home values declined faster nationally than they did in the metro area, dropping about 14 percent, Zillow says.
--Nearly 14 percent of homeowners in the Baltimore metro area are "underwater," their property values having dropped below the amount they owe on their mortgages. That's depressing, but Zillow estimates that the percentage of U.S. homeowners in the same situation is 22 percent.
--As you might guess, people who bought in 2006 and 2007 are the most likely to be underwater. More than half the Baltimore-area homeowners of that vintage -- the ones with mortgages, at least -- owe more on their loans than their properties are worth, according to Zillow.
--Folks who bought in the Baltimore area in 2004 are (as a group) still doing all right. Zillow says the typical '04 buyer has equity of almost $60,000.
--Homes in the metro area are collectively worth $30 billion less than they were a year ago, Zillow says.