We’ll pass on Zillow’s report on the percentage of Bay Area homes that are underwater as it relies on “zestimates” of current market value. And well, let’s just say we find the accuracy of Zillow’s zestimates to be anything but (accurate).
That being said, a key paragraph from the Chronicle’s coverage of the study:
“The last recession in 2001-02 coincided with an upswing in housing market values so one could use home equity as a source of money to get them through, to smooth over volatility in their income stream,” Fleming said. “That ability to use home equity as a source of income in times of economic stress now is removed” for many people.
And we are a bit more comfortable with the part of Zillow’s study that simply reports the percentage of homes that have sold over the past 12 months for less than their previous recorded sales price:
San Francisco 17.2%
Contra Costa 59.3%
San Mateo 30.2%
Santa Clara 40.1%
Bay Area 46.7%
Unlike our apples, however, not controlling or accounting for any improvements or investments (which likely results in an underreporting in the percentages above).
∙ Bay Area homeowners owe more than home’s worth [SFGate]