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Thread: US Real Estate Crisis

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    US Real Estate Crisis

    20 statistics about the U.S. real estate crisis....

    #1 According to Zillow, 28.4 percent of all single-family homes with a mortgage in the United States are now underwater.

    #2 Zillow has also announced that the average price of a home in the U.S. is about 8 percent lower than it was a year ago and that it continues to fall about 1 percent a month.

    #3 U.S. home prices have now fallen a whopping 33% from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble.

    #4 During the first quarter of 2011, home values declined at the fastest rate since late 2008.

    #5 According to Zillow, more than 55 percent of all single-family homes with a mortgage in Atlanta have negative equity and more than 68 percent of all single-family homes with a mortgage in Phoenix have negative equity.

    #6 U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the housing crisis first began.

    #7 In February, U.S. housing starts experienced their largest decline in 27 years.

    #8 New home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.

    #9 Historically, the percentage of residential mortgages in foreclosure in the United States has tended to hover between 1 and 1.5 percent. Today, it is up around 4.5 percent.

    #10 According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings in the United States are projected to increase by another 20 percent in 2011.

    #11 It is estimated that 25% of all mortgages in Miami-Dade County are "in serious distress and headed for either foreclosure or short sale".

    #12 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.

    #13 Sales of foreclosed homes now represent an all-time record 23.7% of the market.

    #14 4.5 million home loans are now either in some stage of foreclosure or are at least 90 days delinquent.

    #15 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are currently at least one month behind on their mortgage payments.

    #16 In September 2008, 33 percent of Americans knew someone who had been foreclosed upon or who was facing the threat of foreclosure. Today that number has risen to 48 percent.

    #17 During the first quarter of 2011, less new homes were sold in the U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded.

    #18 According to a recent census report, 13% of all homes in the United States are currently sitting empty.

    #19 In 1996, 89 percent of Americans believed that it was better to own a home than to rent one. Today that number has fallen to 63 percent.

    #20 According to Zillow, the United States has been in a "housing recession" for 57 straight months without an end in sight

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Meanwhile, our county recently increased both the assessment and the rate of the real estate tax...

    Next year, if things haven't changed, I plan to get a new assessment (one that reflects the actual current market value of our place) and at least get that changed, if I can.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Houston, TX
    I remember getting pissed off when I saw real estate prices rising on a daily basis. It is clear that the banks were influencing the sheeple to buy crap they couldn't afford through relaxed credit practices, bottom feeder interest rates (which are still here), interst only scams and so-called liar loans where people didn't even have to prove income.

    It created an unprecedented buying frenzy that balooned home prices and the number of shopping strips across the land. This country has literally been overrun with discount shopping fast food franchises, casual dining establishments, nail clinics and billboards. The buildings themselves are designed to last about 10 years, just in time for the next building boom. In the mean time, the older buildings sit as an eyesore.

    This crap started in the middle 1980's and has continued unabated even into today. I can only imagine how much worse things would look if people still had credit.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The Land of The Edentulites

    "Financing" - that is, buying things we can't afford - is what the US economy is based upon. It's such a trap because the average person never stops to consider how financially precarious it is to buy all this shit ... on credit.

    If people could not or did not finance new cars, for example, new car "sales" would probably drop by 75 percent and two-thirds of the currently-in-business car companies would be out of business.

    What does this tell us?

    First, the current "market" is an artificially created and very abnormal one - like Frankenstein's monster and just as destructive. It is probably not a coincidence that the explosion in brands - and the geometric increase in the number of models sold by each brand - coincides with the rise in easy credit made possible by no-cost (or next-to-no-cost) money (i.e., interest) and loans stretched out over 5-6 years.

    It was not all that long ago that the typical new car loan was just three or four years.

    But perhaps the most insidious aspect of the flim-flam is the way it hides the cost of government mandates and regulations - making them seem "affordable."

    Or at least, we don't notice how unaffordable they've made new cars.

    It's really quite brilliant, in a Dr. Evil kind of way - like withholding. We never actually have to send the government a check, because the money's already been taken before we ever even get to touch it. Similarly, long-range financing and low interest on that long-range financing makes the bloated MSRP of the typical new car seem more manageable because the payments are broken down into monthly chunks. It is no accident that car salesmen are trained to get the buyer to focus on the monthly payment - not the actual sticker price of the car itself. They will ask, "How much can you afford to pay per month" - knowing that, say, $400 goes down easier than $40,000.

    Since most Americans are innumerate as well as impulsive and thoroughly conditioned Consumerists, it's no hard sell to get them to sign up.

    And it makes possible the shoving-under-the-proverbial-rug of things like the federal "passive restraint" mandate that gave us the now-common 4-6 (or more) air bags that every new car has and which add - according to most estimates - about $2,000 to the bottom like cost of each and every one of those new cars. Ditto the Fed's "clean diesel" mandates that have jacked up the sticker prices of vehicles with otherwise-efficient diesel engines by 20 percent. There is a literal laundry list of such mandates, ranging from the minor to the major - but each costs something and those costs are all folded into the price of the car.

    Now, if it weren't for extended-range payment plans, the cost of all this rigmarole would be much more obvious to consumers - and more to the point, it would be obviously unaffordable.

    Instead of that $400 per month payment on the $40,000 car - spread out over 5-6 years to ease the burden in the perception of the well-marinated Consumerist - said Consumerist would be staring $600 or maybe $800 a month for the same vehicle, scrunched down into a three or four-year payment plan.

    And that, in turn, would make it much harder for the government to continue blithely imposing mandates - costs - on consumers, because consumers would simply stop buying cars and the wheels of industry would cease to turn.

    And we can't have that.

    Thus, the pyramid scam goes on. The regulatory burdens increase and with them, the cost of the end product. "Finance" greases the skids by making it all seem affordable when it's really not - and the Dumbos keep signing up for payment-in-perpetuity and wonder why they're broke.

    The tragedy is we're still in control and could throw the proverbial switch overnight and "change" - the real thing - would come. If even 20 percent of people who currently finance new car purchases chose instead to buy a lower-cost used car outright with cash money, it'd impose some financial discipline not just on the car industry - which supinely accepts and often loudly amens every new federal "safety" (and "emissions") mandate proposed by non-engineer, know-nothing bloviating politicians - but also on this disastrous living-beyond-our-means train-wreck-in-the-making that is modern America.

  5. #5
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    #15 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are currently at least one month behind on their mortgage payments.

    Given the current housing market, why on earth would any mortgage holder turn down a cash offer on a short sale?

    That is exactly what happened to us. Remember that short sale we had an offer on? It needed a new roof. We asked the seller and their bank (Bank of America, btw) to meet us halfway on the cost of a new roof because we had 2 insurance company appraisers and an inspector that told us the house was not insurable because of the condition of the roof. So, we asked for a $5k reduction in the sales price.

    BoA's response? They cancelled all offers and terminated all negotiations pending another appraisal. Even with the $5k reduction, our offer would have been $11k more than a previous offer that BoA said they would accept for the property.

    Who in the he!! turns down a cash offer???

    If we were not facing a time frame, we probably would have waited for the anal BoA to make a decision, but we needed to find a house, so we withdrew our offer and bought a different house.

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