Housing slump hurts homeowners, home values down

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Homes in Richmond continue to sit with 'for sale' signs firmly planted in the front lawns.

A new report says home values are down in the Metro area, but some real estate agents say the market has stabilized.

The Braun home is going on six months on the market and only three people have stepped foot into the home to look at it.

"It feels like your trapped because you can't make people buy the house and we're also not willing to give it away either," says Ann Lisa Braun.

The value of the home is way down from what it was just a few years ago. In fact, another home for sale down the street sold for $100,000 less than expected.

"That sold two and a half years ago so you think, in two and a half years, we just lost $100,000 of value," adds Braun.

A recent report by an online housing data company shows that home values in Metro Richmond are down more than 5 percent this March, compared to the same time in 2009.

The Braun's home is evidence of that. "We dropped it to our lowest tolerance level, but that didn't help much either."

But some real estate agents here in Richmond don't agree with the report. They say, yes home values are down from the height of the market back in 2005. Yet, the homes today, are valued around where they realistically should be.

The owner of another home tells NBC12 a story somewhat different from the Braun's. Many people have looked at the home and the home owners think the first time buyers credit helped, but the for sale sign is still planted in the lawn.

"It's horribly discouraging. But you just have to be patient," says Braun. This, as she and her family hope things turn around and turn around soon.

To check out the full Zillow report, head to http://www.zillow.com/local-info/VA-Richmond-Metro-home-value/r_395022/.

Although some agents think the market has stabilized, do not expect home values to go up anytime soon.

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