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October 20th, 2009
08:11 AM ET

Falling Home Prices & You

Houses are about to get much cheaper, according to a report from Fiserv. Between now and next July, the report predicts the median home price in the U.S. will drop by 11.3% and home values will drop in 342 out of 381 markets. (Read the full story here.)

Our question: How are falling home prices affecting you?
Post your comments here.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. CoolGayDad

    Our home in suburban Houston is up in price. For some reason Houston real estate didn't explode and skyrocket like the rest of the nation over the past decade, we saw normal basic 5-10% per year increases. While the rest of the nation is down...our homes retain their value. At this moment I could take my equity and purchase about 5 homes in Las Vegas.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    With the falling home prices a person cant help but think this is a well thought out trap to get people to buy homes and a year down the road raise the roof on the bank note .

    October 20, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  3. branco, TX

    Falling home prices are a good thing. They are part of the solution, not the problem. They are still overinflated relative to incomes and rents, and of course demand will not return until they fall further. That will stimulate sales and further construction.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  4. Bradley D. Walter

    The falling home pricesn't aren't affecting me much at all. Thanks to the economic crisis my partner and I bought our home about a year ago at a price that was so low, it's value couldn't possibly go any lower. That's the beauty of real estate, no matter what or where it is, if you buy it at the right price, it's value will always go up.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  5. Ramblers1n2

    Our home has gone from about 375K to about 250K. We had intended to sell and move for health reasons, but now can't afford to, but can't not afford to. We are between a rock and a hard spot.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  6. Karen

    I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It may be noted that we also lived in S. California for many years in the past, so we watched fluctuating housing prices. Our area of Florida is showing a disaster. So many people are abandoning their homes that our town is trying to make the banks and mortgage companies accountable to at least mow the the town is beginning to look 'shabby'. We have been in our home 20 yrs – and it's dropped in price so much that we are probably at a 'break even' point between what we owe and what we MIGHT be able to sell it for. Add to that the incredible increase in home insurance for Florida – and it's a recipe of disaster. Shame on the mortgage companies and banks for lending people 110% of their (at that time) home value. Greed showed it's ugly face, everyone jumped on the bandwagon- and now all of us are paying.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  7. Wendy

    My husband and I live in the North East and were looking to buy a home three and a half years ago and were very concerned with the ridiculously inflated housing prices, which were even opening Canada as a living option. We don’t view these lower prices as a drop but the leveling out of a falsely inflated market that needed to be fixed.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  8. Judy Twist

    Over the past 10 years or so we have been a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We moved from NJ to Ann Arbor MI at a time when housing prices were at an all time high. We purchased a house anyway but the economy took a dive there, my husband was laid of and we had to sell our house at a huge loss. We subsequently moved to Morgantwon WV where the local economy has been relatively insulated from the national crisis so the housing market has remained high. Again,we bought a house at an all time high. Now the market is dropping and our house is worth much less than we paid for it. We can't get a break and our savings has dwindled to almost nothing.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  9. Jim Clatterbaugh

    I live in the Norh Bay California area. My home was purchased new in 2004 for $300,000. I have never added to the loan using equity but now the value has dropped below $280,000. Because my wife lost her job due her company transferring jobs overseas we tried to refinance with the "making home affordable" option. Six months of run-around and they now say I need $30,000 cash and they will lower my payments by $75 per month. I don't blame the government but wish there was a way to force the banks to use our tax money for our own good.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  10. Adam

    The housing price drop is great for my new wife and I. It is a bright spot in my generation's position in history. Everyone knows that we graduated college at the wrong time and 10 after graduation we are just getting our lives started. So this is a small beacon of light for us!

    October 20, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  11. John Babitskas

    I have never heard of the firm that Christine just quoted. Sure, you can find a opposition piece on any given subject, but please don't take a report that is so far off the wall and use it as gospel. Joh in Atlanta.

    October 20, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  12. Outsourced IBMer

    Since IBM has pulled another sham in NC and dumped IT workers including myself, this area is upside down. I purchased below my maximums, within my budget and still find myself upside down on my mortgage, on my vehicle, in my life. My severence is now gone, my terminally ill daughter is now without health insurance, I still owe for the 2005 death of my wife to cancer and Obama is the reason. His meeting with IBM CEO ended my career and started my already stressed life into a headspin and I STILL DO NOT SUPPORT UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. I paid my bills while employed, now I refuse to live like a democrat off the free Obamabucks. My mortgage company gave me 3 months of no house payments under the Obama plan but this just delays the inevitable, what we need is Obama to eliminate the corporate outsourcing loophole and H1B visa laws or America is screwed and my next job will be Domestic Terrorist of the NC Militia against Corporate Ripoffs and Obama Black Panther Govt..

    October 20, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  13. Kim Heath

    We are one of those facing foreclosure. We've experienced a job loss and can't make the payments. I called American home Mortgage Servicing, offered to make partial payments, asked for back payments to be added to the end, asked for any help to avoid foreclosure.
    Since we had a modification previously, the agent said.... and I quote"... Give it up, there's nothing we will do to help you.

    It would seem that the lender would rather have some money than NO money and another vacant property. The "free services" want several thousand dollars up front to help you with your problem.
    In our coastal community in NC, there are many homes for sale in the 300-500K price range.
    Our home is now priced $150,000 under appraisal value in 2006. Still no buyers, and the auction is in December. Is there any help out there?

    October 20, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  14. John

    I am live in Orlando Florida and I have to say this is the worst time for home owners here. I bought my home for $ 212,000 and it’s now priced at $120,000. About 30% of my neighbors are either walking away or short selling. How can we continue throwing money in a pit? This is not an investment it’s a parasite!

    October 20, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  15. abby

    I have to agree with an earlier commenter that dropping prices are a good thing. My husband and I bought a town home in 2004, and the market was insane. Homes were selling hours after going on market for above asking price. Eight months ago, we sold our town home at a loss, but who cares. We put down 20% like everyone should have. Even with that loss, we moved up to a great single family home because prices finally came down to reality. Young people being able to afford homes is absolutely essential to the health of our nation and economy. Want grandchildren one day? Root for the prices to come down even lower.

    October 20, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  16. Jim

    While any of us who own a home hate to see the market value diminish, we have to remember that there were many years of historically high gains because of reckless lending practices. With a return to realistic lending standards we have to expect a return to realistic home values. Median incomes in the US did not increase anywhere near the rate of homes, so it was completely unsustainable. Coming back down from the bubble years, we are probably around the same level we would have been given the normal trend for home values. Selling my home will be disappointing I am sure, but buying a new home will be a lot more affordable so it is a wash for anyone who has owned the house for 10 years or more.

    October 20, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  17. Gary Collins

    Heidi: With the economy tanking and our respective 401k"s headed for new lows, my wife and I decided to purchase a home. Can't go wrong with real estate. Right. No, big mistake.

    Two years after purchasing a fixer upper my wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. We had sunk a lot of our savings into purchasing and fixing up our home. Medical bill ate up much of the remainder. Now, my wife has passed away and I can't sell my now totally fixed up home. Not even a looker at any price in Maine.

    The new about a continuing downturn in real estate prices is not pleasant but at least your not talking about the "balloon boy". Thanks for that.


    October 20, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  18. Anne

    My husband I bought are house in 2006 in Las Vegas for $510.000.
    Now we are worth about $200.000. He has not lost his job yet, but fear he will. We are still making are payment. There are so many people here in vegas that are in the same situation we are, the president should be focusing more on housing and jobs rather then on health care.

    October 20, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  19. Paul

    Since we just live in our house and aren't trying to make a profit with it, falling home prices should actually help us because property taxes should be lower. Unfortunately, government's assessed values, and therefore property taxes, have gone up in our city and surrounding areas even though property values have gone down. Nobody seems to have an explanation except it increases government revenues. We feel rather helpless to do anything about it. Appealing has no effect.

    October 20, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  20. Tim C

    It should come as no surprise that home values are falling: the values were artificially set by an aggressive real estate industry bolstered by local governments hungry for increases in tax revenue. Certainly, these unrealistic prices were recognized and legitimized by home buyers anxious for a leg-up, reassured by the sales staff that these investments were just that - undoubted riches to come. Many buyers were motivated by the promises of future sales, never-ending spirals of limitless enrichment.
    And who convinced the banks to relax time-tested rules and provide financing beyond the capabilities of young families to repay? Home-buyers, or home-sellers? One wonders.

    October 20, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  21. JohnnyP

    I moved to Las Vegas 5 years ago after I finished my military enlistment. My wife and I were shocked at the outrageous home prices. It did not match the cost of living for the area. Home were averaging $275,000 and our combined income was about $41,000 annually. We had conceded that we would never be able to afford a home in the Las Vegas area and considered relocating. I told my wife to hold out, but I never really had hope. Now with the new market in place, our dream has come true and our mortgage will be cheaper than the rent at our apartment . Everyone has to take blame for the decline in the housing market. People from high salary areas like California and Washington were moving to Las Vegas and throwing more money to sellers than what they offered which raised the market. There were also low income families talked into purchasing homes they couldn't afford in hopes of refinancing within a year and selling the home afford the value increased. I knew this would happen so that's why I waited to buy.

    October 20, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  22. Jeff

    We bought our house 14 years ago. Our neighbors bought their house 30 years ago. They recently had their house appraised. As with the llarge number of people here in Las Vegas, we took part ine refinancing revolution to pay for college,cars and rising living expenses. Of course, we had no idea that our $300,000 homes would not only be worth less than what we owed, they are now worth less than they were 30 years ago. NEVER in the history of this country have property values dropped so much. when is the goverment going to realize how bad the economy really is. We are stuck wiyh no good jobs and can't sell our houses. Goverrnment and Corporations continue to prosper while the average person is struggling. If the greed continues at the top we will all become homeless. How sad is it that the land of plenty is only available to a few. How can we have millions of empty homes and yet millions of homeless.!?

    October 20, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  23. Manny (Longview TX)

    I purchase my home eleven years ago for $56K . Its value now is $120k On this East Texas City, Falling home prices has not impacted my home at all.


    October 20, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  24. John Toliver

    While the price of buying an existing home may go down, the cost of building a home continues to climb. I just moved into a new log home in Louisiana. I know precisely what it cost because I paid for contracting and materials. However, the home appraised for 68% of what it cost me to build and I didn't build a Taj Mahal. How can our economy ever stablelize if we have things going in opposite directions?

    October 20, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  25. Tina

    In California, it is killing me! Upside down does not even come close to describing the housing market. For the last year now, I have been asking about the loan modification plan to get out of the adjustable, but have been constantly told "next month". WELL, it looks dim for me and I am going to be missing this month's payment. HELP-where is it?

    October 20, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  26. Andrea

    Homeowners near retirement are not recoginized by banks as unable to afford their homes. We must stop paying in order for them to see that we are in serious trouble. We have no equity, cannot refinance into a reasonable rate, and are facing reduced retirement income. After 35 years of perfect credit, we have chosen to short sell, but the banks don't consider this story a hardship, so they probably won't agree..another foreclosure on the books.

    October 20, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  27. Al

    I used to work with a home builder and bought our first house from the same company I worked for. 3weeks after my closing, they dropped the base price by around $25K. The worst thing was, a month after my closing, I got laid off. I've been out of a job for 10months now, 2 months behind on my mortgage, and my federal unemployment extension benefit will be exhausted next month. I hope I wont be homeless because there is no way I can sell the house with the declining home prices.

    October 20, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  28. Andrea

    I"m hearing about a homeowner revolt. in California. Massive numbers of defaults from good customers being treated
    badly. Homeowners are the victims of irresponsible lending practices. The banks don't care and won't even talk to you until the payments stop.

    October 20, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  29. Robert Lake,MI

    If that aint bad enough then the majority of the people who needed the $8000 tax break for their new home will end up losing their homes because the majority of these people still cant afford the house payment, so that means home values are going to drop even more and the folks like me who did NOT over extend my means and stayed within my means are going to be the biggest losers in this deal! Looking at what the American middle class that showed responsibilty I feel the rest owes them! We have given and the "government" has taken more than their fair share and the middle class still gets stuck with the bill! Aint right and it aint fair! I believe the ones playing by the rules and living within their means should at least get a $8,000 tax home credit, if only we had a government with some guts and fortitude to do the right thing.

    October 20, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  30. Robert Lake,MI

    People must blame themselves to a large degree. When I grew up in and being poor I was raised knowing that you had to work hard and never to expect anything! Kids today are raised on Playstation and Ipod thinking that when they graduate high school they will get a job paying at least $20.00 an hour and theres nothing they cant have the next guy doesn`t even if they havent worked for it! All they know is give me give me give me and has no idea in the world how to work for the things they want! Most people should be renting, and thats the cold hard truth! Never in the history of this nation has so many people so called owe their own homes. Thats because of easy credit and big tax breaks for some, not on actually people able to repay their loans. Couple that with the wealthy in this nation sending all of our jobs somewhere else but here! People are going to have to start living within their means or the middle class will be bled dry and then what are we going to do?

    October 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  31. Andrea

    Hey, Sarah Rudolph,
    How abot doing a show on Homeowners revolt in California. The banks (BOfA) are doing nothing to help prevent foreclosures. You either make too much or too little for a loan mod. These falling prices are a hardship on almost all homeowners, but not by their guidelines. Can't refinance, can't qualify for a hardship...these banks are so stupid. Prices going lower and lower.
    I believe that MASSIVE numbers of defaults are taking place in southern californioa. MASSIVE NUMBERS.right now. The tsumani is coming.

    October 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  32. Gary (North West)

    Generally a reduction in value is a good thing. It does however raise some serious issues with regard to people giving back their home in lieu of foreclosure. In the "new economy" there are alot of people that are thinking about not making their payments and letting the lender foreclose. This creates more problems. ...Also with the unemployment figures up as they are there is a reluctance of people to buy real estate. I live in Clark County Washington where the unemployment rate is just under 13% (that doesn't include those people that fell off the radar because they have run out of unemployment benefits.

    October 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  33. ande black

    Try this. Divorced last year. Monetary award due to the ex from a rental that was way out of bounds considering the housing market. Deadline passes, ex attorney files for auction sale to get some of her past loot, making the matter worse. In addition, ex stops paying rent on a rental where she runs a business. place is trashed leaving to properties to be revamped and sold as monetary award is due from both.......whewwwww. Not the market to have to deal with this. And oh, yes, I do pay for the ex to live in the marial home as she was awarded use and possesion for a few years.......yes I am still alive

    October 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  34. David

    Yes this report is set against the news this summer about home prices going up for three months. Pressure. The economy, mortgage foreclosures, jobs all putting stress on the housing market. In the interim, yes lower prices bring in home buyers, but in the end an economy on the up helps everyone. Prices go up, but as money flows into the banks, though credit was tight, that flow replenishes the system, loans become affordable, credit loosens, and we see a flourishing home market.

    Thanks Heidi, by the way, to you, Jacqui Jeras, and that I-reporter in Seattle. The beautiful fall colors from the northwest cheered me up this morning.

    October 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  35. Jim Bitz, West Palm Beach Florida

    I live in a Homeowners Association in the Palm Beach County, Florida area. Many homeowners purchased in our community befor the "bubble" burst. The majority of the community is 'upside down" on their home values to the point many folks are walking away from their homes due to the fact that payin the mortgage on a grossly undervalued property makes no sense at all. This means they are not paying their homeowners association fee's as well, which puts the financial burden on the association members who do pay. Is the government going to "bail" us out??

    October 22, 2009 at 9:32 am |