23% (Nearly 1 in 4) Homeowners Underwater; Zillow Predicts 30% in 2010

Discussion in 'Economics' started by MattF, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. MattF


    9.4 months of current inventory at present sale rates; that is, if you stop the impending rounds of other foreclosures, get all the bank-owned ones gone and stop building entirely :D

    Twice the inventory of what the "boom" brought us.

    Add to it that most states take some 8-12 months before the foreclosure is actually done from the first missed payment (even if the homeowner walks away) and the bottom is a long ways off....


    Almost one-quarter of U.S. mortgage holders owed more than their homes were worth in the second quarter, and that figure may rise to as much as 30 percent by mid-2010 as job losses and foreclosures climb, Zillow.com said.

    Homeowners are being hurt by price declines.

    The estimated median value for single-family houses slid to $186,500 in the period, a 12 percent drop from a year earlier and the 10th consecutive quarterly decrease, the Seattle-based real estate data service said in a report Tuesday.

    “The negative-equity rate will rise and spin off more foreclosures,” Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said. “I see a substantial downside risk to prices and don’t think we’ll see a bottom until the middle of next year.”

    The U.S. housing market is being hindered even as the pace of job cuts and price declines slows. Payrolls fell by 247,000 in July, after a 443,000 loss in June, the Labor Department said. Home prices in 20 major cities declined 17 percent in May from a year earlier, the smallest drop in nine months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index.

    Home values dipped in the second quarter from a year earlier in almost 90 percent of the 161 U.S. metropolitan areas surveyed by Zillow, the company said. Twenty-three percent of mortgage holders were underwater at the end of June, Zillow said.

    The percentage of people owing more than their properties are worth may increase to almost half of U.S. mortgage holders before the housing recession ends, Deutsche Bank AG said last Wednesday.

    About 25 million homes, or 48 percent of mortgaged properties, will be underwater as prices drop through the first quarter of 2011, Karen Weaver and Ying Shen, analysts in New York at Deutsche Bank, wrote in the report.

    A glut of unsold homes is also pushing down prices.

    The 3.8 million homes for sale in June would take 9.4 months to sell at the current pace of transactions, according to the National Association of Realtors. The inventory turnover rate averaged 4.5 months in the six years from 2000 to 2005.

    “We haven’t seen a bottom in home prices, and it could take into 2011 before we see equilibrium in the market,” said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Barclays Capital in New York.

    In June, foreclosures accounted for 22 percent of total U.S. home sales, and 29 percent of homes sold were purchased for less than what the owner originally paid, according to Zillow.