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June 9, 2010

The housing market by the numbers

Sometimes a number is worth a thousand words. Here are a few that have caught my eye recently:

4.2 percent: The decline in home values in the Baltimore metro area in April, compared with a year earlier, according to Zillow's newest estimates

18 percent: Zillow's estimate for the decline in Baltimore-area values since the market peak, compared with 24 percent nationwide

23 percent: The share of Americans polled on behalf of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling who say it's justifiable to default on a mortgage if the balance due is higher than the home's value

15 percent: The share of Americans who said in the same poll that it's never justifiable to default on a mortgage, no matter what the reason

5.3 million: The number of U.S. homes owned by "sidelined sellers" who would be very likely to put their properties on the market in the next 12 months if they see signs of improvement, according to Zillow

27 percent: Share of homes for sale in Baltimore that are foreclosures, according to CoreLogic via Yahoo Real Estate

Sixth: The Baltimore metro area's ranking on the "lowest performing major markets" list compiled by data provider Clear Capital, based on recent home price drops 

What numbers have caught your attention?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 7:00 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Housing stats


Jamie, it not just one number it's the entire group. Each one illustrates the decline and horrible condition of today's housing market both locally and nationally.

Since late 2007 almost three years ago we started this real estate issue in our economy. No matter how many government and private sectors programs have been instituted they haven't catch this falling knife.

The ones that have been most hurt by this housing market decline are the ones that purchased in late 2004 up to late 2007. Even the Mortgage Backed Securities (MBA) that backed the financing of these homes are still considered toxic assets no matter if it had a AAA rated prime rating.

This issue will continue until we see employment increasing remember we have lost over 8 million jobs and that not counting the number of new workers coming into the workforce.

With this decline in housing values it creates a opportunity for individuals with stable employment, some saved cash and a reasonable credit score. This may be the best time to invest in real estate. Yes I know it's going to take years for real estate to recover many economist are predicating mid 2011 for foreclosures to PEAK. However when you see home values depressed and thirty years loans under 5.00% look beyond today's news headlines.

Here are some numbers of anyone interested in a possible home purchase. At 5.00% each $100,000 borrowed cost $537.00 as a monthly principle and interest payment or $1,074 for $200,000. You need to add your monthly real estate tax escrow, homeowner insurance and possible mortgage insurance to the principle and interest payment to get the final monthly payment. Do the numbers It may become apparent with income tax deductions that owing a home is the same cost or less than renting.

Negative housing headlines are going to continue for some time, don't miss a possible opportunity.

0: The number of times I've heard a serious discussion of the real estate crisis in which houses are considered as homes, rather than commodities.

I wonder if our national obsession with the "performance" of the housing market is contributing to the ongoing housing slump. After all, we only got into trouble with our real estate when we started treating our houses like investments. We started speaking about them in terms of dollar value and expected return, rather than as places to create memories and raise families.

Now we're trying to get ourselves out of the trouble we started, and yet we're still thinking in the same dollars-and-cents terms that caused the problem to begin with.

Thank you Chris you make an excellent point.

The article I posted a few days ago that showed it will take 8 YEARS for the foreclosure crisis to pass is more startling than any of those statistics. How about the new statistic that came out earlier today where purchase applications fell AGAIN to a new 13 YEAR. If it takes another 8 years for foreclosures to pass through, we have a LONG WAY TO GO. Values are not going back up any time soon.

53%: The percentage drop from April to May 2010 in properties marked "Under Contract or Contingent".

Yup, John, I'm just writing that story now.

Which suggests, of course, that--assuming inventory remains constant-- the months-of-inventory statistic will double as the summer progresses.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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