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RISMEDIA, March 15, 2010—Consistent with trends that materialized in December 2009, home value change continued to weaken in many markets around the country during January. Nationally, while the annualized appreciation rate continued to improve– increasing from -5.5% in December to -4.8% in January–home values declined 0.33% from the prior month (a slightly larger monthly depreciation than the 0.27% recorded in December). To see the national performance of home values in historical context, click here.

Of the markets highlighted in this table, four stayed in positive or flat territory in terms of month-over-month appreciation: Los Angeles (0.2%), Philadelphia (0.2%), San Diego (0.0%) and San Francisco (0.3%). Five markets stayed in positive territory in terms of year-over-year appreciation: Boston (1.7%), Denver (0.4%), Los Angeles (0.9%), San Diego (0.2%) and San Francisco (0.9%). It was just four months ago that sixteen of the twenty-four markets shown in the accompanying table had recorded four or more months of positive monthly appreciation in home values.

The number of homeowners losing their homes to foreclosure across the country remained unchanged from December, but was still pegged at the highest level seen in Zillow’s data, which began in 1996. In January, more than one in every thousand homes in the U.S. reached the final stage of foreclosure.

Foreclosure re-sales as a percentage of all transactions notched up in January to 22.28%, largely as a function of the decreasing volume of non-foreclosure sales in the winter months relative to the steady stream of foreclosure re-sales.

It seems that the home buyer tax credits are keeping some additional incremental demand in the marketplace during the winter, but they are not having the same powerful impact on home sales seen in the late summer and fall of 2009. This suggests that most of the incremental buyers who could be coaxed off the fence and into the marketplace were already persuaded to purchase before the extension of the tax credit last November. Undoubtedly, there will be another mini-frenzy of home buying around the expiration of these tax credits in June, but we expect this spike to be a very muted version of the November spike. In line with our smaller expectations for a spike in sales before expiration, we also think that the payback in diminished sales post-expiration will be more muted.

For more information, visit www.zillow.com.

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