The real estate crash that never seems to end appears to be getting even worse. Home prices continue to go down, the number of underwater mortgages is soaring and the number of foreclosures set an all-time record in 2010. The peak of the housing market was in 2005 and the subprime mortgage crisis erupted in 2008. Shouldn't things be getting better by now? How many years is this real estate crash going to go on for? Home builders and those that work in the construction industry are deeply suffering because new home sales continue to hover around record lows.
Mortgage professionals are having a really hard time because very few people are seeking home loans and many of those that are seeking loans cannot get approved. Real estate agents all over the country are pulling their hair out in frustration and large numbers of them have left the industry completely. The United States has never had such a prolonged real estate slump in the post-World War 2 era. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of indications that the real estate crash is going to get even worse.
The rapidly rising price of oil, the horrific crisis in Japan and instability in the Middle East all threaten to plunge the world into another major economic downturn. That is really bad news for the real estate industry. Already there are not nearly enough jobs for everyone in the United States and without good jobs American workers simply cannot buy homes.
In addition, many of those that would like to buy homes are finding that they cannot get approved for home loans. Before the real estate crash, lending standards were incredibly loose, but now the pendulum has swung very far in the other direction.
Applying for a home loan today is roughly the financial equivalent of a proctology exam. Once upon a time banks and financial institutions were handing out mortgages to anyone who could sign their name on a piece of paper, but now mortgage lenders are being extremely, extremely tight with their money. This is making it very hard for the U.S. real estate market to recover.
In many ways, the U.S. real estate industry is starting to somewhat resemble a movie that Bill Murray once did entitled "Groundhog Day". In that movie the character that Bill Murray played had to live the same day over and over.
Well, for the U.S. real estate industry every single month is a complete and total nightmare. But instead of being exactly like the previous month, each new month seems to bring news that is just a little bit worse than the month before.
Will this nightmare ever stop?
The following are 27 amazing statistics about the real estate crash that never seems to end....
#1 In February, U.S. housing starts experienced their largest decline in 27 years.
#2 The number of new building permits fell to a new all-time record low in February. In fact, new building permits were 20 percent lower during February 2011 than they were in February 2010.
#3 As of the end of 2010, 23.1 percent of all U.S. homeowners with a mortgage owed more on their homes than their homes were worth.
#4 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million Americans are at least one month behind on their mortgage payments.
#5 It is estimated that there are about 5 million homeowners in the United States that are at least two months behind on their mortgages.
#6 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of all the homes in the state of Florida are sitting vacant. That number is 63 percent larger than it was just ten years ago.
#7 Celia Chen of Moody's Analytics is projecting that home prices in Florida are going to fall another 11 percent.
#8 In the state of Arizona, approximately 16 percent of all homes are now sitting vacant.
#9 In total, approximately 11 percent of all homes in the United States are currently standing empty.
#10 In Dayton, Ohio today 18.9 percent of all homes are now standing empty. 21.5 percent of all homes in New Orleans, Louisiana are currently standing vacant.
#11 According to CoreLogic, home prices in the United States declined by 5.7 percent between January 2010 and January 2011.
#12 New home sales in the United States in January were a shocking 11.2% lower than they were in December. The new home sales number for January 2011 was 18.6% lower than the number for January 2010.
#13 Now home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.
#14 An all-time record of 2.87 million U.S. households received a foreclosure filing in 2010.
#15 The number of homes that were actually repossessed reached the 1 million mark for the first time ever during 2010.
#16 72 percent of the major metropolitan areas in the United States had more foreclosures in 2010 than they did in 2009.
#17 In 1996, 89 percent of Americans believed that it was better to own a home than to rent one. Today that number has fallen to 63 percent.
#18 In 2010 sales of previously existing homes in the United States were at their lowest level in 13 years.
#19 26 percent of all the homes sold in the United States last year were foreclosures or short sales.
#20 According to DataQuick, distressed property sales accounted for nearly 60 percent of previously owned home sales in California last month.
#21 The median sale price of a home in California has declined on a year-over-year basis for five months in a row.
#22 Since the real estate peak, U.S. home values have fallen by a staggering 6.3 trillion dollars.
#23 Deutsche Bank is projecting that 48 percent of all U.S. mortgages could have negative equity by the end of 2011.
#24 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today, the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made a mortgage payment in 17 months.
#25 Right now there are now approximately 15,000 vacant buildings in the city of Chicago.
#26 According to Zillow, U.S. home prices have already fallen further during this economic downturn (26 percent) than they did during the Great Depression (25.9 percent).
#27 In September 2008, 33 percent of Americans knew someone who had been foreclosed upon or who was facing the threat of foreclosure. Today that number has risen to 48 percent.