More Than 30 Percent of Recent Homebuyers Have Negative Equity

New York–More than 30 percent of U.S. homeowners who purchased a home in the last two years owe more than its value, according to housing market research company Zillow.In 2006, 39 percent of homebuyers who put 10 percent down now have negative home equity; so do 30 percent of homeowners who bought in 2007, The New York Times reported Tuesday.By comparison, just 3 percent of homeowners who bought in 2003–and less than 1 percent of all U.S. homes, regardless of purchase date–have negative equity.Zillow’s report also said that U.S. home prices dropped 3 percent last year and that condo and single-family home values fell 7.4 and 5.5 percent. In the last three months of 2007, homes–of all types–saw a collective 3.3 percent drop from the third quarter of 2006.”With consecutive declines over the past five quarters, we haven’t seen the housing market bottom yet, and it may very well get worse before things get better,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow vice president of data and analytics.