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US home values post big gains, but recovery is uneven

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 1:33 p.m. CDT

Home values in the United States rose 1.3 percent in the third quarter — the biggest quarterly gain since 2006, according to the third quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. The Zillow Home Value Forecast shows more growth, albeit slower growth, on the horizon with values increasing 1.7 percent over the next year.

However, the pace of the housing recovery is uneven from market to market. Home values are increasing rapidly in some areas. In the Phoenix metro, for example, values are up 20.4 percent year-over-year. But in other areas — such as the Atlanta metro, where home values declined 4.8 percent year-over-year — values continue to fall. But that doesn’t mean the recovery is in jeopardy.

“We’re likely seeing home values fall back into the negative range in some markets due to the close of the traditional home-buying season,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “While that doesn’t mean the recovery has come off the rails — in fact, most markets have hit bottom — it does present a confusing environment for consumers. Looking forward, we expect to see home values bump along the bottom for some time, before increasing at a slow and steady pace.”

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