Thursday, June 09, 2011

Q1 Flow of Funds: Household Real Estate assets off $6.6 trillion from peak

by Bill McBride on 6/09/2011 12:45:00 PM

The Federal Reserve released the Q1 2011 Flow of Funds report this morning: Flow of Funds.

The Fed estimated that the value of household real estate fell $339 billion in Q1 to $16.1 trillion in Q1 2011, from just under $16.5 trillion in Q4 2010. The value of household real estate has fallen $6.6 trillion from the peak - and is still falling in 2011.

Household net worth peaked at $65.8 trillion in Q2 2007. Net worth fell to $49.4 trillion in Q1 2009 (a loss of over $16 trillion), and net worth was at $58.1 trillion in Q1 2011 (up $8.7 trillion from the trough).

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 Q1 2011, household percent equity (of household real estate) declined to 38.1% as the value of real estate assets fell by $339 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 38.1% equity - and 10.9 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 $85 billion in Q1. Mortgage debt has now declined by $634 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 (sometimes so they can refinance at better rates).

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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