Home Values in Freefall: The Bright Side of the Housing Collapse
The Bright Side of the Housing Collapse….You can buy a home for as little as $40 (with payments as low as $0.19 per month!!! if financed)
NEW YORK (Reuters) One in five U.S. homeowners with mortgages owe more to their lenders than their properties are worth, and the rate will increase as housing values drop in states that have so far avoided the worst of the crisis, a new study shows.About 8.31 million properties had negative equity at the end of 2008, up 9 percent from 7.63 million at the end of September, according to the study, released Wednesday by First American CoreLogic. The percentage of “underwater” borrowers rose to 20 percent from 18 percent.
“The economic slowdown is broadening,” said Sherrill Shaffer, a banking professor at the University of Wyoming at Laramie and a former Federal Reserve official. “As more people lose jobs, it will be more difficult to sustain the levels of pricing and home ownership, and that is a big factor driving down housing prices in more parts of the country.”
Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio remained the most stressed states, with 62 percent of underwater borrowers and just 41 percent of mortgages.
“Even I continue to be surprised at the tentacles of this financial and economic debacle,” said Robert MacIntosh, chief economist at Eaton Vance Management in Boston. “More people are being laid off, resulting in reduced income and therefore less consumption. That leaves fewer people with money to buy homes, and the mentality is that people believe they should wait six months rather than buy now. Less demand means falling prices.”
Roughly 68 percent of U.S. adults own their own homes, and about two-thirds of these have mortgages. Many economists expect the nation’s unemployment rate to rise above 9 percent before the recession ends, up from January’s 7.6 percent.
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