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Report: home values are still rising despite market chill.

Most homeowners in the top U.S. metropolitan areas are still seeing a healthy year-over-year appreciation on their home values, despite a recent cooling throughout the nation, according to a series of home value reports from Zillow.com[TM].

This appreciation is measured by the Zindex[TM] home value indicator, which measures the value of all homes in an area (not just those that sold). Despite a decline in values in many regions over the past quarter, home values are up by 4.8 percent year-over-year in the 36 regions studied by Zillow. The exception to this trend was in the Boston, Hartford, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Sacramento and San Diego metropolitan areas, which actually experienced a slight year-over-year decline.

"4.8% is considered healthy appreciation growth by most standards, but is a dramatic difference from the double-digit year-over-year growth homeowners in many areas of the country came to expect over the past several years," said Stan Humphries, director of advanced analytics for Zillow.com.

"By comparison, year-over-year growth in these areas in Q2 was 9.2 percent so markets are clearly losing some wind in their sails. Moreover, sequential, quarter-over-quarter Zindex growth for the top 36 markets was only 2.4 percent for the third quarter, down somewhat from the 2.7% increase we saw between the first and second quarters of the year."

Of the 36 U.S. metropolitan markets covered this quarter by Zillow, the three most expensive are all located in California (San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas), while the three least expensive are all located in the South (Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Memphis metro areas).

The Jacksonville metropolitan area led the pack for the fastest appreciating, at 19.1% year-over-year, while Hartford metro was the slowest appreciating--actually depreciating -3.7% relative to the third quarter of 2005.

The South showed the strongest third quarter performance, turning in a 10.7% year-over-year increase, while the West proved to have the most expensive real estate, with a Zindex $395,902.

The weakest growth was seen in the Northeast, where the Zindex actually depreciated -1.8% year-over-year, fueled by a significant drop in the condo market of -3.5% year-over-year.

The Midwest was the only area to experience an increase in the quarter-over-quarter change, rising from 2.6 percent in the second quarter to 4.9% in the third quarter.

Five most expensive metropolitan Areas (measured by Zindex) are San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose ($702,298); Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County ($555,391); San Diego ($535,391); New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island ($472,042); Sacramento-Yolo ($403,886)
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Title Annotation:RESIDENTIAL
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 15, 2006
Words:427
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