Biggest Losers and Winners: Where Home Values Are Rising and Falling

Last Updated Apr 26, 2011 4:50 PM EDT

Yesterday I reported U.S. home values declined further in the fourth quarter of 2010, posting their largest quarter-over-quarter decline since Q1 2009 according to's fourth quarter Real Estate Market Reports.

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 Gain

Despite 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, MI

Current home value: $184,600
YOY Gain: 11.3%

2. Gainesville, GA

Current home value: $127,500
YOY Gain: 8.4%

3. Honolulu, HI

Current home value: $490,100
YOY Gain: 4.0%
Small island, big demand from Asian buyers. Not a stretch.

4. Madera, CA

Current home value: $141,500
YOY Gain: 3.8%

5. Merced, CA

Current home value: $110,400
YOY Gain: 2.6%

6. Cape Cod, MA

Current home value: $333,100
YOY Gain: 1.9%

7. Cedar Rapids, IA

Current home value: $132,400
YOY Gain: 1.0%

8. Binghamton, NY

Current home value: $102,500
YOY Gain: 1.0%

9. Utica, NY

Current home value: $98,600
YOY Gain: 0.7%

10. Virginia Beach, VA

Current home value: $206,100
YOY Gain: 0.6%

Biggest Losers: Highest Year Over Year Home Value Decline

Florida 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, CO

Current Home Value: $83,700
YOY Loss: -23.7%

2. Mobile, AL

Current Home Value: $90,700
YOY Loss: -18.5%

3. Ocala, FL

Current Home Value: $90,800
YOY Loss: -18.2%

4. Detroit, MI

Current Home Value: $73,200
YOY Loss: -17.4%

5. Lansing, MI

Current Home Value: $96,200
YOY Loss: -16.6%

6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

Current Home Value: $139,100
YOY Loss: -15.4%

7. Atlanta, GA

Current Home Value: $128,100
YOY Loss: -15.3%

8. Lakeland, FL

Current Home Value: $95,400
YOY Loss: -14.8%

9. Flagstaff, AZ

Current Home Value: $231,600
YOY Loss: -14.7%

10. Melbourne, FL

Current 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.

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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 and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at, a community for real estate investors.
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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.