September, 2007
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Zillow Analyzes Average American Home


The same house will cost you eight times as much in Santa Barbara, Calif., as in Tulsa, Okla.

Home inspectors can maximize their marketing efforts by understanding their local real estate market. is a source of both local and national information. It describes itself as an online real estate community where homeowners, buyers, sellers and real estate agents and professionals can find and share vital information about homes, for free.

According to a report issued by Zillow in May, U.S. homeowners are experiencing a slight decline in home values on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive quarter. Home values are down one percent (-1.01%) quarter-over-quarter and have dropped by just under a percentage point (-0.83%) from first quarter 2006, as measured by the Zindex™ home value indicator, which measures the value of all homes in an area (not just those that sold).

“While numerous cities around the nation are showing actual year-over-year declines in home values, the Pacific Northwest is largely bucking that trend and in fact is showing double-digit appreciation in some areas,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s vice president of data and analytics. “Four of the top-five highest-appreciating metropolitan areas are located in Washington State or Oregon. Conversely, the two areas with the most depreciation are on the Gulf Coast of Florida, both with double-digit depreciation.”

A full comparison of 46 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) can be found in Zillow’s national Q1 2007 report, at quarterlies/QuarterlyReports.htm. Zillow has also released individual reports for each MSA broken out by county, city, ZIP code and neighborhood.

In addition to the Zindex and rate of appreciation, Zillow is for the first time comparing what the “average” American home (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1500 square feet)* is worth in 46 metropolitan areas.

Not surprisingly, the price is highest in various California cities, with Santa Barbara’s typical home value topping the list at $816,022. The most affordable typical homes are in the Midwest and South, with Tulsa, Okla., posting the most affordable value at $97,059. As with broader home trends, some of the greatest year-over-year appreciation in the “average home” was seen in the Pacific Northwest, with cities in California and Florida experiencing some of the greatest year-over-year value declines.

Some other interesting findings from the national report include:

Five highest-appreciating metropolitan areas (year-over-year):

  • Corvallis, Ore. (17.26%)
  • Grand Junction, Colo. (16.57%)
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash. (12.03%)
  • Bellingham, Wash. (11.68%)
  • Portland-Salem, Ore. (10.72%)
Five most depreciating metropolitan areas (year-over-year):
  • Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. (-15%)
  • Punta Gorda, Fla. (-12.43%)
  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif. (-11.83%)
  • Pittsfield, Mass. (-8.62%)
  • Reno, Nev. (-8.5%)
Five most expensive metropolitan areas (measured by Zindex):
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. ($680,868)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii ($626,110)
  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif. ($596,702)
  • Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, Calif. ($541,572)
  • San Diego, Calif. ($513,695)
Five least expensive metropolitan areas (measured by Zindex):
  • Peoria-Pekin, Ill. ($90,116)
  • Tulsa, Okla. ($95,382)
  • Rockford, Ill. ($108,811)
  • Columbia, S.C. ($111,763)
  • Champaign-Urbana, Ill. ($123,448)
The Zindex home value indicator is the median Zestimate™ valuation for a given geographic area on a given day. Exactly half the Zestimates for a region are below this number and half the Zestimates are above it. It is expressed in dollars and is for a particular geographic region.

To view these national or local reports, visit Or, for ongoing commentary on home value conditions, visit

*Average American home is determined by surveying the more than 70 million homes in Zillow’s U.S. database and averaging the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage as per recorded public records.

More home valuation sites

Check out the growing number of real estate sites that estimate home value:

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