Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Housing Depression

In the July 11 post at TAE, there was an article by Michael David White, a Chicago area real estate broker who a few years ago started calling on his clients to NOT buy a home. I’ve featured many of White's articles since; I like that kind of attitude. In last week’s piece by White Pending Homes Sales Crash in a Record Fall to a Record Low as Tax Break Expires, though, something was missing. There was a line that said "see the graph below", but there was no graph. Since I had a hunch which graph he meant. I sent him a mail. And yes, he came back to me with the graph (some 6 weeks old) that can hardly be surpassed in its definition and clarity of the depth of the US housing and credit crisis.

Take a look at this baby:

That is, what Americans' homes are worth, their equity, decreased by $7 trillion -from $20 trillion to $13 trillion-, from spring 2006 to spring 2010. In the same period, mortgage debt, what Americans owe on their homes, went down by only $270 billion. Yes, that's right: US homeowners lost more, by a factor of 26, than they "gained" through clearing mortgage debt. Thus, if we estimate that there are 75 million homeowners in America, they all, each and every one of them, lost $93,333.

Good morning America!!

And your own government is still trying to encourage homeownership? Now why would they want to do that in the face of numbers such as these? How much thought have you given that question? Over the past 4 years, the "right to own a home" has become synonymous with the "right" to lose some $25,000 a year. Why does Washington, through Fannie and Freddie, Ginnie Mae and the FHLB, continue to guarantee guaranteed losses for American citizens?

Of the 986 bank holding companies in the US last year, a total of 980 of them LOST MONEY. 
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  1. So what are my other options?

    You gotta live somewhere and nothing will be free. I would rather own my own home than have some landlord have keys to my place and come in while I am not home on my daughter and or wife. A home to me still means security. Also if I were to rent it would cost me a couple thousand a month for a four bed place so I might as well buy and wait it out.

  2. So what are my other options?

    You can change the locks so your landlord cannot peek at your daughter.

    Try missing a mortgage payment and see how "secure" the bank will make you feel.

    You can also wait a few years and buy the same house for 40% less.

    I get a kick when my friends say they own a home. Actually the bank owns it and will let them stay as long as they can make payments. If it is ever paid off they will be paying rent to the government in the form of property taxes forever.

    The American dream...ya right

  3. Your post doesn't even make sense. So what you are telling me is that you would rent and not pay your landlord? You will get evicted quicker than the foreclosure process. The first poster is correct. Gotta live somewhere.

  4. I think the chart originally comes from Shadow Stats. They are a good source of real numbers. For example, SS says real un/under/employment is about 20%.

    My house is paid for, but if I don't come up with $2 thou a year for school and property taxes, then the state will take my property. So you can still get screwed. But at least I have something to show for my money. My friends who rent have nothing.

  5. Sharon I read an article by a VERY reliable source that real estate will recede 90%. Thats right... 90%! Your house will be worth nothing. You will be in the same boat as the renters. By the time you pay your taxes, the renters will be ahead of you. You and your friends will be..well, not friends anymore..

  6. Thats what sir John Templeton said about housing before he passed away ! 90% haircut from peak highs!

    I did purchase my property at 63% off of peak high so I figured another 27% off would be ok if it did happen. Conclusions were based on living in the leading manufacturing area in U.S., 90% decline in housing would also mean 90% of the country would be in dire straits, I could afford payment with single income stream.

    Sold at peak and waited over 3 years (renting)

  7. My property value may go way down, but I will still have a place to live. I have managed to pay all my taxes while living on Social Security and I'm smart enough to find ways to survive. My friends, if they can't pay rent, could still come live with me because I've got plenty of room...and they've been hinting about that.

    I have water, trees, and pesticide-free land. I have a giant library of how-to and alternative health books. Plus I've been stocking up on items that I can sell or barter. And if everything falls apart, then we'll all be in the same boat together. I can't picture each state attempting to confiscate 90% of all property, especially in my state where the first day of hunting season is a national holiday.

  8. Forgot to add that for my $2000 in school/property taxes, I have two houses, 9 acres, a forest, and a year-round creek. So I have to come up with $165 a month. My friends pay $2000 a month in rent....

    They are educated white-collar workers who can no longer earn enough to pay their expenses. They are hanging on until they can collect early Social Security. I bet there are millions like them, so imagine what will happen to older folks if the Republicans (and the Demwits) get their hands on Social Security and Medicare.

  9. sharonsj you are have a ton of common sense. Owning still beats renting anyday of the week. Even if you lose 99% of the value. At the end of the day you will own it and in 50 years after the inflation takes over (which someday it will be back) then you will have something with value.

  10. 9:52 You will be in the same boat as the renters. By the time you pay your taxes, the renters will be ahead of you. You and your friends will be..well, not friends anymore..

    The funniest thing I have read all day. LOL OMG you don't think the Landlord is not going to sock you with cost of the taxes plus rent LOL


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