45 Percent of 2006 Home Buyers Underwater

Zillow’s latest report shows that an alarming number of American homeowners face negative equity.

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Zillow is out with its second quarter Real Estate Market Reports. Here are the ugly details:

U.S. home values in the second quarter posted the largest year-over-year decline in the past 12 years, dropping 9.9 percent from the year-ago quarter and 1.7 percent from the first quarter...

Nationwide, for those who purchased their home since the beginning of 2003, nearly one in three (29.1%) now have negative equity.

The highest rates of negative equity are among those who purchased in 2006, when most markets peaked, as nearly half (45%) of those buyers across the U.S. now face negative equity after placing a median down payment of 10 percent.

The rate is nearly double for those in the Stockton MSA where nearly every homeowner (95%) who bought in 2006—with a median down payment of zero—is underwater.

Here's what Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow's vice president of data and analytics, had to say in the press release accompanying the report.

"The second quarter is the sixth consecutive quarter of home value declines and we see little promise of turnaround in the short-term as the rates of decline have yet to slow and, in fact, actually accelerated in many markets . . . The high rates of negative equity are having a direct effect on home sales figures as we've seen considerable growth in foreclosure transactions and homes selling for a loss. Unfortunately, while there are a few bright spots—like Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City and Austin that reached record-high values—most markets are likely to remain in negative territory for the next few quarters given the magnitude of current year-over-year declines."

Here is some particularly scary data:

Percent of home purchases with negative equity

  Since 2003 In 2006
United States  29.1% 44.8%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 39.9% 71.1%
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 52.4% 53.8%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL 44.6% 76.2%
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 36.8% 56.1%
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 40.1% 75.5%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 56% 72.8%
Stockton, CA 79.5% 94.7%