Zuckerman's Home Ownership Nightmare — By the Numbers

Mort Zuckerman's latest US News & World Report columnanalyzes what went wrong in the housing market.


For the baby boomer generation, a home is now seen not as the cornerstone of advancement but a ball and chain, Zuckerman writes.

And he brings a boatload of statistics to the table to back it up.

Here are some of the grim numbers:

  • Equity net of mortgage debt has declined on average at least 30%;
  • Home sales continue to decline, despite an interest rate drop to a record low of 4.3% (followed by a slight rate rebound);
  • Home occupancy costs for home purchases are down to 15 percent of family income, off from the 25% conventional average;
  • New home sales, pending home sales, and mortgage applications are at a 13-year low;
  • Around 11 million residential properties — about 23 percent of such properties with mortgages — have mortgage balances that exceed home value;
  • If expert predictions of further drops in home values of 5-10% occur, the total peak-to-trough decline will reach 40%;
  • 8 million home loans are in some state of delinquency, default, or foreclosure;
  • Perhaps most disturbing of all: $6 trillion of home equity has vanished during The Great Recession.

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