Zillow: Home prices up year over year, but about 30% of mortgages still underwater

Nationally, home prices are up compared to a year ago, according to Zillow, but that’s not the case for Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville, and plenty of other cities.

Regrettably, Zillow’s data does not give an estimate for Savannah home prices.

From Zillow, which has been generating some really high quality data and predictions over the last couple of years:

Zillow’s July Real Estate Market Reports, released today, show that home values increased 0.5 percent to $151,600 from June to July (Figure 1), marking another month of healthy monthly appreciation. Compared to July 2011, home values are up by 1.2 percent (Figure 2), supported in many places by low for-sale inventory. Inventory shortages are being fueled by negative equity and a slowed distribution of REOs. According to Zillow’s first quarter Negative Equity Report, 31.4 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. A more in-depth analysis of the impact of negative equity on inventory shortages can be found here. In conjunction with rising home values, rents continued to rise in July, appreciating by 0.2 percent from June to July. On an annual basis, rents across the nation are up by 5.4 percent (Figure 3).

Let me emphasize that the percentage of underwater mortgages excludes all homes that are owned outright. Also, the percentage of mortgages underwater should decline significantly with even a slight rise in prices since most mortgage holders are also paying down principal.

A couple of the figures from Zillow:

I might loop back around and talk about that fascinating rental data in a future post.

As upbeat as some of this data looks, it’s not uniform across the country.

Check out this embedded graph from Zillow, with Atlanta, Charleston, and Jacksonville prices compared to the nation as a whole:

US Zillow Home Value Index

Click here to create your own graphs based on metro or statewide data.