So many homeowners are now underwater (they owe more than the value of their property) Obama may want to offer a federal program to give scuba lessons to everyone!
More than one fifth of ALL homeowners were underwater in the last quarter of 2009, according to Zillow.com and reported by BusinessWeek.
And, if that weren’t bad enough (and it is) the figures also show, not surprisingly, that foreclosures hit a record for recent times in December–more than 1,000 homes.
The forecast is not totally bleak, but not exactly upbeat,either.
In a statement, Zillow Chief economist Stan Humphries says, “While the next few months are likely to bring further home value declines in most markets, we do expect to see a national bottom in home prices by the middle of the year. Thereafter, home values are likely to bounce along the bottom with real appreciation remaining negligible for some time.”
Wow, that’s something to look forward to! The value of your home is probably going to keep dropping for a few more months, then pretty much stay at the bottom of the sea till god knows when! Nice forecast!
In case you’re wondering (and who isn’t?) RealtyTrac records 2.82 million foreclosures last year alone, says the BusinessWeek article.
If anyone needed proof that the administration’s so-called mortgage loan modification program has been a total flop, these figures offer that proof.
More important, if the forecast is correct about continued home value loss followed by nothing more than a bottoming out for some time to come, we are likely to see more and more homeowners just mailing their keys back to lenders and walking away from their properties, a trend that has already increased and is fairly well documented.