National home values in May rose for the third month in a row, climbing 0.5% from April, according to new data from Zillow. Home values continued to decline on an annual basis, down 0.9% last month from May 2011 – the smallest year-over-year decline since October 2007.
Zillow also reports that foreclosures continued to decline in May, with 6.3 out of every 10,000 homes in the country being foreclosed. That was down from 7.2 out of every 10,000 in April.
Separately, national rents also rose 1.8% from April to May, with rents increasing in 77% of the 344 markets covered by Zillow.
‘It is promising to see consecutive months of national home value increases, especially during a period in which we'd expected more downward pressure due to foreclosures,’ says Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. ‘Attention has now shifted to the tug-of-war situation with inventory, where buyers want to buy but sellers don't want to – or can't – sell. This inventory phenomenon, due to both the broader issue of negative equity that is keeping people in their homes and to rational seller behavior at a market bottom, will make for a more volatile housing recovery than what we initially expected.’