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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Housing Debt: Statistics & other Factoids

Statistics can be quite boringly dull things to both read and try to follow.  And the more statistics an article throws at readers to prove a point, the greater the chance the reader simply turns off, tunes out and blocks the messenger altogether.

But we're going to risk it by keep this posting short and focusing solely on stats and other factoids that are  truly relevant to help the reader clearly understand how bad the housing situation is. The mainstream news spews up lies of 'recovery', but you the loyal A&G follower know better.

*  As of March 2012, about 12m borrowers owe more in housing debts than their properties were worth. This is thanks to home prices that had fallen nearly 40 per cent in inflation-adjusted terms from their peak.

*  Homeowners’equity have been halved since the mid 2000's, leading to $7tn in lost household wealth. This in turn has reduced consumer spending by as much as $375bn annually, contributing to lower living standards and reduced employment.   70% of the US economy is based on consumer spending.

*  It is expected that roughly 1m borrowers are set to have their homes seized in Each of the next few years.  This is on top of the millions who have already lost their homes since 2007.

*  On US bank balance sheets, of the $7.5 trillion in outstanding loans as at the end of 2011, $4.1tn were classified as property ( $2.5tn being specifically family residential lending.)

* Currently, mortgage defaults account for about 70% of the decrease in mortgage debt.  It is estimated that up to 35% of the defaults resulted from strategic decisions by households to walk away from their homes.

We'll stop with the statistics to prevent needless brain clutter.

The point is that the housing situation is bad in the US and getting worse.  But really it should not be much of a surprise when government and the Fed absolutely refuse to help underwater homeowners or alleviate mortgagees saddled with high mortgage payments & insurances.  Their allegiance is first and foremost to the banks and that's how it will always be, no matter who is elected in November.