Monday, November 3, 2008

Did foreclosures really kill our economy? The numbers don't add up

According to this 2007 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau, there are (were) 128,203,000 housing units in the United States. Of those, 64,231,000, or 50%, are owned free and clear.

If 1.2 million homes are in foreclosure at any point in time that would equate to less than 1% of all homes in the country or 1.9% of the 63,972,000 homes that have at least 1 loan on the property.

Then let's assume that each quarter 1.2 million homes go into foreclosure. That equates to less than 4% of all homes in the country (4.8 million homes) or 7.5% of homes with at least 1 loan on the property.

Are we really to believe that because 7.5 out of every 100 homes in the country went into foreclosure our economy was thrown into a recession, mutliple financial corporations were forced to shut down and the stock market tanked? Unless I'm severely off on my math the numbers just aren't adding up.

The $50 trillion credit default swap market theory on the other hand is beginning to make more sense with each passing day.


  1. This is great info. Richard Mendehall, Past Pres. of NAR is one of my brokers, and he uses this info in seminars he gives much the same way you put it... good stuff and so true --- could I use it on my blog thanks

  2. Hi Hank, thanks for the nice comments. I don't think people have really looked at the numbers closely and I'm sure there are people out there who are much more savvy with the financial markets and foreclosure stats than me. But I certainly haven't heard anything from anyone about it.

    Glad to hear from you and please feel free to link to my blog or use the information as you would like.

  3. Hi all,

    Here's an interesting one for you.

    An analysis of the current economic crisis we are all unfortunately facing but looked at from a slightly different perspective.

    This analysis looks at past banking crises and how they have effected various aspects of the economy.

    It is titled The Banking Crisis - Where are we now? (follow the link should you be interested) and has particularly interesting points about how the previous banking crises has effected assets including property prices.