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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Fed's Q1 Flow of Funds: Household Real Estate Value increased in Q1

by Calculated Risk on 6/07/2012 12:00:00 PM

The Federal Reserve released the Q1 2012 Flow of Funds report today: Flow of Funds.

According to the Fed, household net worth peaked at $67.5 trillion in Q3 2007, and then net worth fell to $51.3 trillion in Q1 2009 (a loss of $16.2 trillion). Household net worth was at $62.9 trillion in Q1 2012 (up $11.6 trillion from the trough, but still down $4.6 trillion from the peak).

The Fed estimated that the value of household real estate increased $372 billion to $16.05 trillion in Q1 2012. The value of household real estate has fallen $6.3 trillion from the peak.

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

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.

This ratio was relatively stable for almost 50 years, and then we saw the stock market and housing bubbles. The ratio has been increasing a little recently.

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 2012, household percent equity (of household real estate) was at 40.7% - up from Q4, and the highest since 2008. This was because of a small increase in house prices in Q1 (the Fed uses CoreLogic) and a reduction in mortgage debt..

Note: about 30.3% of owner occupied households had no mortgage debt as of April 2010. So the approximately 52+ million households with mortgages have far less than 40.7% equity - and over 10 million 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 $885 billion from the peak. Studies suggest most of the decline in debt has been because of foreclosures (or short sales), but some of the decline is from homeowners paying down debt (sometimes so they can refinance at better rates).

The value of real estate, as a percent of GDP, is near the lows of the last 30 years, however household mortgage debt, as a percent of GDP, is still historically very high, suggesting more deleveraging ahead for households.