Home values in metropolitan Toledo have declined by 6.4 percent in the last year and nearly one of every four home sales in the last year have been foreclosures, a national Web site found.
Zillow.com, which analyzed data from 163 metro areas in the United States, ranked Toledo as having experienced the 78th greatest loss in values of all homes. House values declined 5.6 percent in the last year and condominium values fell 9.4 percent.
The six communities that recorded the biggest loss nationally were all in California, and Ithaca, N.Y., recorded a 5.6 percent growth in home values, said Amy Bohutinsky, a spokesman for the company.
Nationally, home values dropped 9.7 percent in the last year, according to the study.
Declining home values have put many homeowners nationally "underwater," meaning their homes are worth less than the mortgages owed on them.
The phenomenon is especially prevalent among those who purchased within the last five years, both nationally and locally, Ms. Bohutinsky said.
In metro Toledo, "39.4 percent of home-
owners who've bought in the last five years have negative equity," she said.
The study found that 38.5 percent of homes sold in the metro Toledo area in the last year fetched less than the seller had paid. The nationwide figure was 33 percent.
The big problem locally, Ms. Bohutinsky said, continues to be foreclosures. The study found that 23.5 percent of home sales locally over the last year involved foreclosed properties, compared with 18.6 percent nationally.
"It has an effect on other homes on the market by bringing other prices down in the neighborhood," she said. "For a market to hit a bottom and turn around, some of this inventory has to start moving."
A separate study done by RealtyTrac Inc., an online tracking firm, found foreclosure activity nationally climbed 5 percent last month and 25 percent from a year earlier.
It reported 279,561 filings of default or auction notices and bank repossessions in October.
Michigan and Ohio have been among the top states for such activity, but the pace of the filings is declining, RealtyTrac found.
Michigan was ranked seventh highest among the states at one foreclosure filing for every 396 households, and Ohio was ranked 10th at one per 417 households. The national figure is one per 452 households and the worst state was Nevada, at one per 74.
Michigan had 11,393 filings last month, up 8 percent from the month before but down 15 percent from a year earlier. Ohio had 12,109 filings, up 6 percent from the month before but down 30 percent from a year earlier.
Joseph DiSalle, sales manager and broker for the Maumee-Arrowhead Park office of DiSalle Real Estate, said the Toledo area has benefitted over the long haul because the market isn't as volatile as other areas of the nation.
"The people that don't have to sell will probably ride it out and be OK," he said.
Contact Larry P. Vellequette at: