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Zillow: Home values in November back at 2003 levels

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Home values in the United States in November remained flat with the prior month but declined 4.6% from last year, according to the latest real estate markets report from Zillow Inc. (Z). The company's home value index, which measures prices across the nation, shows the average home price was $147,800 in November, the same level recorded in 2003. Of the 165 housing markets tracked by Zillow, 60% noted appreciating or flat home values in November, including Los Angeles, Washington, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., San Francisco and Detroit. Zillow said foreclosure liquidations rates are down sharply in the wake of the robo-signing controversy last year, which slowed foreclosure processing overall. In November, slightly more than eight of every 10,000 homes in the country were foreclosed upon. That is down from October 2010 when 11 of every 10,000 residential properties faced a similar fate. Zillow's numbers are based on completed foreclosures. Zillow said the number of foreclosures could rise again if attorneys general reach a settlement with financial firms, giving banks more certainty over the foreclosure process. "Overall, we are seeing encouraging signs in housing data such as sequential months of slowing depreciation rates, stabilizing markets and organic improvement in value trends, largely in the absence of government policy intervention," said Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist. "However, we're not out of the woods yet," he said. "Supply and demand are still not in balance in many markets and we do expect higher foreclosure liquidation rates near-term, which will put additional downward pressure on home values." Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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