Quicken Loans, the nation's second largest retail mortgage lender, on Tuesday announced home values, as determined by appraisers, were an average of 2.17% lower than what home owners expected in March, according to the company's proprietary national Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). Home values continued to slowly climb in March. The Quicken Loans Home Value Index (HVI), the only measure of home values based solely on recent home appraisals, shows valuation nudged up 0.29 percent since February, and are up 4.77 percent year-over-year nationwide.

The HPPI again showed home owners were a bit more optimistic about their home's value relative to valuations provided by professional home appraisers. Appraisals in March showed valuation an average of 2.17 percent lower than what home owners estimated at the beginning of their refinance. The spread between the two values widened in March, compared to February's appraisals which were 1.99 lower than what home owners expected. When viewed at a metro area level, the HPPI varies widely across the country. Areas within the West region continued to stand out with several locations averaging appraised values beyond what home owners were expecting, while all Midwestern metro areas show appraisals lagging behind home owner estimates.

"The varying HPPI values across the country illustrates the importance of examining the market at the local level," said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. "If home owners are eyeing that new home being built across town, they could be pleasantly surprised how much their home will sell for - or in some instances their equity may not take them as far as they think - depending on what area of the country they're in."

Home values grew in March, with appraised values increasing 0.29 percent and growing 4.77 percent since the previous year, according to the National HVI. This continues a trend of rising home values we have been in since early 2012. The monthly change is more volatile – ranging from a 0.67 percent dip in the Midwest to a 1.52 percent climb in the West – but all four regions studied saw annual increases in appraised values.

"It's not always easy for home owners to keep their finger on the pulse of their equity," said Walters. "This data shows homes have continued to increase in value since the depths experienced after the last recession. Those increases mean far fewer Americans have negative equity in their homes. This increases their mobility and is a positive development for all segments of the housing market."