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Home Values Projected to Lose $681 Million in 2011

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- U.S. homes may have lost close to $700 billion in value this year, but that isn't necessarily bad news.

Real estate tracker Zillow reported Thursday that homes are expected to lose more than $681 million in 2011.  Even so, the figure is 35 percent lower than the $1.1 trillion lost last year, and it's the smallest loss in four years.

Zillow says it represents some improvement since homes are losing value at a much slower pace.

"While homeowners suffered through another year of steep losses, the good news is that homes are losing value at a substantially slower pace as the market works its way towards the bottom," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.  "Compared to last year when we saw sharp declines following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credits, this year we saw some organic improvement in home values, in terms of a slowed depreciation rate which resulted in a smaller total value loss for the year."

The majority of the decline came between the months of January and June, when the housing market lost $454 billion. Zillow predicts $227 billion will be lost in the second half of 2011, from July through the end of December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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