Thursday, March 10, 2011

Q4 Flow of Funds: Household Real Estate assets off $6.3 trillion from peak

by Bill McBride on 3/10/2011 02:35:00 PM

The Federal Reserve released the Q4 2010 Flow of Funds report this morning: Flow of Funds.

According to the Fed, household net worth is now off $8.8 Trillion from the peak in 2007, but up $8.1 trillion from the trough in Q1 2009.

Update: Household net worked peaked at $65.7 trillion in Q2 2007. Net worth fell to $48.7 trillion in Q1 2009 (a loss of almost $17 trillion), and net worth was at $56.8 trillion in Q4 2010 (up $8.1 trillion from the trough).

The Fed estimated that the value of household real estate fell $260 billion to $16.37 trillion in Q4 2010. The value of household real estate has fallen $6.3 trillion from the peak - and is still falling in 2011.

Household Net Worth as Percent of GDP Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This is the Households and Nonprofit net worth as a percent of GDP.

This includes real estate and financial assets (stocks, bonds, pension reserves, deposits, etc) net of liabilities (mostly mortgages). Note that this does NOT include public debt obligations.

Note that this ratio was relatively stable for almost 50 years, and then we saw the stock market and housing bubbles.

Household Percent EquityThis graph shows homeowner percent equity since 1952.

Household percent equity (as measured by the Fed) collapsed when house prices fell sharply in 2007 and 2008.

In Q4 2010, household percent equity (of household real estate) declined to 38.5% as the value of real estate assets fell by almost $260 billion.

Note: something less than one-third of households have no mortgage debt. So the approximately 50+ million households with mortgages have far less than 38.5% equity - and 11.1 million households have negative equity.

Household Real Estate Assets Percent GDP The third graph shows household real estate assets and mortgage debt as a percent of GDP.

Mortgage debt declined by $55 billion in Q4. Mortgage debt has now declined by $542 billion from the peak. Studies suggest most of the decline in debt has been because of defaults, but some of the decline is from homeowners paying down debt.

Assets prices, as a percent of GDP, have fallen significantly and are only slightly above historical levels. However household mortgage debt, as a percent of GDP, is still historically very high, suggesting more deleveraging ahead for households.

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