Cliff Peskin
Feb 5, 2011

How low will it go? This is a question on the minds of millions of Americans who’ve either been foreclosed upon or who are simply watching their largest asset, their home, continue to decline in value.

Unfortunately, 2011 looks to be another big year for foreclosures and one in which many more Americans lose their homes.

The dreaded “F-word” will likely set another record in 2011 says Rick Sharga, vice president of RealtyTrac, a California company that tracks foreclosures. Sharga sees the number of bank repossessions rising by as much as 20 percent this year.

US House prices peaked in early 2005, started to decline in 2006 and 2007, and on December 30, 2008 the Case-Shiller home price index reported its largest price drop in its history – its pretty much been a homeowner nightmare ever since. House prices have continued to decline and Americans faced with a faltering economy, poor job market, and less accommodating refinancing options are often left no choice but to give up their homes.

Fortunately, for those who’ve managed to hang-on to their houses, the average price for an American home rose in January. This is the first rise in value since August 2010.

The news is especially comforting amid widespread concern that the housing market may be headed for a “double-dip” – still to be determined.

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