Home values losses in 2011 projected at nearly $700 billion

As housing experts analyze how the real estate market fared in 2011, a new study indicates homes may have lost billions of dollars in value.

According to property listing website Zillow, homes lost more than $681 billion in value in 2011.

While the value lost is considerable, the projection was lower than the value lost in 2010, which totaled $1.1 trillion, the report found.

"While homeowners suffered through another year of steep losses, the good news is that homes are losing value at a substantially slower pace as the market works its way towards the bottom," said Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist. "Compared to last year when we saw sharp declines following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credits, this year we saw some organic improvement in home values."

Because several housing experts believe the housing market may have bottomed out, it may serve as an ideal time for prospective home buyers to enter the market. However, if consumers have bad credit, it may be a good idea to try and get their FICO scores higher, as they may not be able to qualify for  low-interest loans.