Last Updated Apr 26, 2011 4:50 PM EDT
But it's really all about you - Is your state (or your block?) a biggest loser or a winner? And, what's happening when you look at the year as a whole, or what Zillow refers to as year-over-year (YOY) losers and winners.
The real question is why are prices going up in these communities? Are prices truly rising or is it a price fake-out?
In Ann Arbor, Michigan and other top college towns, home values have held up better than in many other locations. Ann Arbor is the seat of the University of Michigan. Demand has stayed strong for that University, so it makes sense to me that housing demand has stayed strong as well.
Part of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville statistical metropolitan area, Wikipedia says Gainesville is "often called the chicken capital of the world." Okay, but given that Georgia has one of the highest levels of foreclosures in the country, I'm at a loss to explain why home values gained 8.4 percent this year. (What do you think?)
On the other hand, it's no surprise to me that home values fell more than 20 percent in Pueblo, Colorado. Colorado is having a tough time with foreclosures.
But that's all anecdotal. Median home prices rise and fall based on whether more expensive homes are selling or more foreclosures (very low priced homes) are selling.
Home values overall will decline if you have twice as many foreclosures sell as regular priced homes. My sense is that this is what is driving the home value decline and appreciation.
Still, everyone loves a winner. So, we've got the biggest losers and biggest winners of the fourth quarter 2010 according to the numbers from Zillow.
Biggest Winners: Highest Year-Over-Year (YOY) Home Value GainDespite the tough economy and struggling housing market, these cities managed to increase their home values. Travel and population hotspots like New York, California and Hawaii predictably did well, but there are quite a few surprising cities on the list.
1. Ann Arbor, MICurrent home value: $184,600
YOY Gain: 11.3%
2. Gainesville, GA
Current home value: $127,500
YOY Gain: 8.4%
3. Honolulu, HICurrent home value: $490,100
YOY Gain: 4.0%
Small island, big demand from Asian buyers. Not a stretch.
4. Madera, CACurrent home value: $141,500
YOY Gain: 3.8%
5. Merced, CACurrent home value: $110,400
YOY Gain: 2.6%
6. Cape Cod, MA
Current home value: $333,100
YOY Gain: 1.9%
7. Cedar Rapids, IACurrent home value: $132,400
YOY Gain: 1.0%
8. Binghamton, NYCurrent home value: $102,500
YOY Gain: 1.0%
9. Utica, NYCurrent home value: $98,600
YOY Gain: 0.7%
10. Virginia Beach, VACurrent home value: $206,100
YOY Gain: 0.6%
Biggest Losers: Highest Year Over Year Home Value DeclineFlorida makes up 40 percent of the top ten list for home value decreases and was number three on the list of states hardest hit by foreclosures,
It's no surprise that Detroit makes the list, but it's still a little alarming that the average current home value there is only $73,200. Michigan continues to suffer (it was number seven on the list of states hit hardest by foreclosure) and Lansing rounds out the top five of this list.
Here are the top ten cities with the highest year-over-year home value loss:
1. Pueblo, COCurrent Home Value: $83,700
YOY Loss: -23.7%
2. Mobile, ALCurrent Home Value: $90,700
YOY Loss: -18.5%
3. Ocala, FLCurrent Home Value: $90,800
YOY Loss: -18.2%
4. Detroit, MICurrent Home Value: $73,200
YOY Loss: -17.4%
5. Lansing, MICurrent Home Value: $96,200
YOY Loss: -16.6%
6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FLCurrent Home Value: $139,100
YOY Loss: -15.4%
7. Atlanta, GACurrent Home Value: $128,100
YOY Loss: -15.3%
8. Lakeland, FLCurrent Home Value: $95,400
YOY Loss: -14.8%
9. Flagstaff, AZCurrent Home Value: $231,600
YOY Loss: -14.7%
10. Melbourne, FLCurrent Home Value: $105,200
YOY Loss: -14.5%
Does you city make either list? Were you surprised by any of the cities on the list?
To see how the home values are in the largest 25 metropolitan areas covered by Zillow read the full press release.
More on MoneyWatch:
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- Top 10 States For Foreclosures in 2010
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- Pending Home Sales Up in November, Realtors Provide Economic Forecast for 2011
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- Foreclosure Process Shows Mortgage Lending Isn't The Only Problem
- What Does Main Street Know That Wall Street Doesn't?
- Real Estate Crisis Continues - Non-Residential Construction to Fall 20% by End of 2010
- Jobs, Small Businesses, Payrolls, and the Economy
- Loan Modification Hell: New Solutions To Avoid Losing Your Home
- Bank of America, Ally Bank Extend Foreclosure Freeze to All 50 States
Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at RealtyJoin.com, a community for real estate investors.