If you are in a bad mood or are looking to stop drinking coffee, here’s a scary summary of the national housing market by [Comstock Partners](http://www.comstockfunds.com/Commstock via WSJ pointed out by Barry Riholz of BigPicture. I hate to simply present the list again but is a summary of the state of the housing market based on national statistics thats a little disturbing. Each item on its own can be explained but the combination paints a more powerful picture.
Whats important to realize is that the stats are national and represents the worst elements of different markets. You can pick out specific examples of stats on the list that are hyped but even after doing that, the numbers presented in total are a concern (are you reading this Ben?) and builds the argument that we are in the midst of a hard landing.
Warning: viewer discretion is advised (its nationally orientated so it doesn’t apply to all markets).
- 32.6% of new mortgages and home equity loans in 2005 were interest only, up from 0.6% in 2000.
- 43% of first-time home buyers in 2005 put no money down.
- 15.2% of 2005 home buyers owe at least 10% more than their home is worth.
- 10% of all home owners have no equity in their homes.
- $2.7 trillion in loans will adjust to higher rates in 2006 and 2007.
- 70% of borrowers who took out pay-option ARMS in the past year have loan balances larger than their initial loan.
- Homeowners face higher payments as mortgages are reset. Generally, monthly payments rise between $200 and $500 depending on the size of the mortgage.
- According to Reality Trac, August foreclosures were up 23% over July and 53% over a year ago.
- The number of homes for sale is at record highs, and inventories are 59% higher than a year earlier.
- New home sales are down 22% and existing home sales down 11%.
- The NASB housing market index has recorded an all-time decline.
- The housing affordability index is at a 15-year low.
- The house price-to-income (rents) ratio is off the charts. According to HSBC, in 18 states accounting for over 40% of national home values, the price-to-income ratio is 3.6 standard deviations above the mean.
- The OFHEO index of house prices deflated by the consumption price deflator has soared to a record high of 350 from 250 in 2001. From 1976 to 1996 it never was above 220.
- According to the NAR the year-to year prices of existing homes are now flat. A short time ago they were rising at a yearly rate of 16%.
- Nationally, home prices have not declined on a year-to-year basis since 1933. Recently, however, prices have been dropping in the North East, West and Mid-West.
- Sales incentives are now estimated at 3% to 7% of selling prices.
Maybe I will get that cup of coffee.