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Housing Market To Reach Bottom in 2011?



Zillow.com housing analysts said Wednesday that the recent rapid declines in home values around the nation are likely to bring the real estate market to a bottom sometime in 2011. The real estate information service made the comment in a report on fourth-quarter home values.

"This is the beginning of the end," said Zillow's chief economist Stan Humphries. "We're seeing more depreciation in most markets, which means the ultimate end (to the declines) will come sooner rather than later."

As for the nine-county Bay area of Northern California, Zillow reported a median home value for 2010's final quarter of $463,246, 3.6 percent below the median reported a year earlier and a staggering 31.8 percent below the peak of $679,159 set in April 2006.

Humphries thinks the Bay area and other markets around the nation will reach a bottom in 2011, but stops short of predicting that prices will begin rising anytime in the near future. "I expect a long, flat bottom," he said. "Most markets will remain in malaise for an extended period of time. It will take at least three years to see more normal appreciation rates, i.e., in the 2 to 4 percent range."

February 10, 2011



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