By the end of this year, American homeowners could be facing a collective loss of $2 trillion on their properties’ value, new figures reveal.
Data reported by Zillow.com found that the value of U.S. homes declined by 8.4 percent annually during the first three quarters of 2008, compared with the same period in 2007.
The situation may be especially bad for the 11.7 million families who are considered to be "underwater" on their mortgage. This means they owe more on their home loan than their house is currently worth.
Zillow’s Stan Humphries said that the fourth quarter of the year is likely to bring even more difficult situations for homeowners, as other factors such as job losses wreak havoc on households’ financial stability.
"This year marked the acceleration of the market correction, and is likely to end with the eighth consecutive quarter of declines in home values," he commented.
The news comes after members of the House Oversight Committee took the CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to task for ignoring economic warning signs and making "irresponsible investments" that have ended up costing taxpayers "hundreds of billions of dollars."