Thursday, March 05, 2009

More on Negative Equity

by Bill McBride on 3/05/2009 06:18:00 PM

The First American CoreLogic Negative Equity Report for December 2008 is available on line (ht Ilya, Brian). You have to sign up to read the report.

A few key points:

  • American CoreLogic reported that 8.3 million U.S. mortgages were underwater in December 2008. However their methodology includes about 85% of all households with mortgages, so the actual number is probably higher.

  • Most households with negative equity are in just four states: Nevada, California, Florida, and Arizona.

  • However, going forward, the distribution will increasing be in other states.
    Going forward, the largest increases in the share of negative equity will most likely occur in states that have not yet experienced deep declines. The reason: the boom/bust states already have very high negative equity shares and incremental declines in home prices will result in smaller negative equity share increases relative to other states given the same decline in prices. This means that as prices continue to decline in 2009, the rise in the negative equity share of states outside the boom/bust regions will begin to accelerate more quickly relative to the boom/bust states.
    Percent Negative Equity by State Click on graph for larger image in new window.

    This graph shows the percent of households with mortgages underwater by state (and near negative equity defined as with less than 5% equity). As noted above, the largest increases in negative equity going forward will be in states other than California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.

    UPDATE: States with no data from CoreLogic: Maine, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.

  • If we use the two stress test scenarios from the Treasury Department in the following table, then using the CoreLogic data: 1) approximately 17 million households will have negative equity by the end of 2010 under the baseline scenario (in the CoreLogic database), and 2) approximately 23 million households will have negative equity by the end of 2010 under the more severe scenario.

    Distressing Gap

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