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Home Values Mixed, Rent Continues to Climb

Home values rose in May month-over-month, marking the third consecutive month of increases, but fell on a yearly basis, according to Zillow’s Real Estate Market Reports.

Prices moved upwards by 0.5 percent from the month before in April to $148,100, but home values continued their downward fall on a yearly basis, dropping 0.9 percent from May 2011, according to the Zillow’s Home Value Index.

The upside to the yearly decline is it’s the smallest year-over-year drop since October 2007.

“It is promising to see consecutive months of national home value increases, especially during a period in which we’d expected more downward pressure due to foreclosures,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.

Humphries noted there’s a tug-of-war situation with inventory, where buyers want to buy but sellers can’t or don’t want to sell due to negative equity. This, he said, will make for a more volatile housing recovery than what was anticipated.

Notably, Zillow’s measure showed home prices spiked in the Phoenix metro, increasing by 9 percent year-over-year and by 1.9 percent month-over-month in May. In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro, home values rose 5.2 percent year-over-year and 2.2 percent month-over-month. Denver and Pittsburgh also saw yearly increase at 2.8 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

Chicago, on the other hand, saw its prices plummet by 6.8 percent over a year’s period, with Atlanta following behind closely at 6.3 percent.

Rent prices also hiked up month-over-month in May by 1.8 percent and year-over-year by 4.6 percent, according to the Zillow Rent Index. The increase was seen across the board with rents up over a one-month period in 77 percent of the 344 markets covered by Zillow.

Metro areas that saw the largest yearly increase in rent were Philadelphia(13.1 percent), Baltimore (10.4 percent), Pittsburgh (10 percent), Chicago (9.1 percent), and San Francisco (8.8 percent).

The number of foreclosures took a dive in May, with 6.3 out of every 10,000 homes in the being foreclosed nationwide compared to 7.2 out of every 10,000 in April.