House values haven't been a major topic during the 2012 campaign and no one really knows how this issue will influence voters. Everyone has been affected by the housing bust, some more than others. There are many homeowners trying to understand why me, did they do something wrong. For most of you, it was simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With many homeowners embarrassed by their financial problems and unable to talk about what's happening, the data shared on Zillow.com's blog regarding houses values for the 9 battleground states (per CNN.com's electoral map on 10/25/12), shows you're not alone!
House Values: A Scary Story
What's scary is the huge number of homeowners with mortgages higher than the house values in today's market, what is called being under water. The numbers are staggering — more than 11.4 million homeowners are underwater, or 23.7% of homeowners across the United States.
Like many other life altering crises, the first step to dealing with the problem is acceptance. If you're in this situation, you need to accept where you are before you can start talking about it and reaching out to explore possible solutions.The journey won't be easy with many hurdles in front of you, and hopefully seeing some of these numbers will make it a little easier for you to accept what has happened.
- Across the 9 battlefield states, roughly 1 out of every 3 homeowners owes more than their house is worth (details in the table below, showing house values ranging from $102,000 in Ohio to $209,900 in Colorado.
- Looking at the States with the Most Homes Underwater, Nevada tops the list at 61.2%, followed by Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, California, Illinois, Idaho, Maryland and Ohio, 10th on the list at 24.6%. Sadly 9 of these 10 states have some of the highest drops in house values.
- Homes worth less than $200,000 were 32 percent underwater, while only 17 percent of homes worth more than $200,000 had underwater mortgages.
|State||Median Home Value||House Values Since Peak (2006)
||% Homeowners Underwater|
|Colorado||$209,900||Down 6.4%||1 in 4 or … 27.3%|
|Florida||$127,600||Less than half the peak house value||Almost 1 in 2 … or 44.5%|
|New Hampshire||$183,900||Down almost 25%||Almost 1 in 3 … or 30.2%|
|Nevada||$129,300||Down 58.8%||65% underwater … or 2 out of 3|
|North Carolina||$132,400||Down 11%||1 in 4|
|Ohio||$102,100||Down 17.9%||Slightly less than 1 in 3 … or 31.6%|
|Virginia||$210,800||Down 20.8%||1 in 4 … or 26.7%|
|Wisconsin||$139,100||Down 12.2%||Roughly 1 in 4 … or 26.5%|
|Iowa (Des Moines)||not available||1 in 5|
House Values: What History Can Tell Us
History has a way of repeating itself. Unfortunately few people realized the housing bubble wouldn't last forever. Few people remembered what happened in the early '80s or the 1930s recession when house values plummeted. The reality is house values are fairly constant over time, with peaks and troughs which is what we're experiencing now.
Maybe this is the wake-up call we need to rethink our personal values, our lifestyles, and the lives we want to live — at home, in our communities and online which where we're able to engage in the global community. Many housing trends are changing — we're not moving like we used to, we're having to live with tighter budgets and new homes are smaller. These changes suggest we look at our homes for long term value, as an investment worth maintaining and enhancing to protect house values.