Real House Prices Back To 1999-2000 Levels


By JFP   Follow   Thu, 27 Dec 2012, 8:37am   3,913 views   91 comments
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According to Calculated Risk, real house prices, and the price-to-rent ratio, are back to late 1999 to 2000 levels. Does anyone seriously expect a drop below these levels? See http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/12/comment-on-house-prices-real-house.html

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  1. 121212


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    12   10:47am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Are you in Real Estate?

  2. JFP


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    13   10:49am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    121212 says

    Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General, Sues Big Banks' Mortgage Registry

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/beau-biden-mortgage-registry-lawsuit-banks_n_1062635.html

    Homeowner confusion arose from the fact that MERS assumed title to the mortgage instruments associated with the loans that its member organizations were bundling and selling off as securities. Yet MERS, according to the complaint, failed to ensure proper transfer of the mortgages, leading it to foreclose upon houses without the authority to do so. Homeowners trying to fight off foreclosure were hampered by the convoluted chain of title -- in other words, it wasn't clear who was actually foreclosing on them.

    That's a problem if you are being foreclosed on, or perhaps if you are buying foreclosed properties. If you are not, it's not an issue.

  3. CaptainShuddup


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    14   10:50am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    121212 says

    Do you trust the chain of ownership?

    Yes, what I don't trust is all of the assholes that is keen to redefine everything for everyone else.

    JFP says

    Does anyone seriously expect a drop below these levels?

    Only on paper. Prices could get so low, that no body sells.
    If my house on paper said it was only worth $5.00 then what motive would I ever have to sell it? I would give it to my neighbor first.

  4. 121212


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    15   10:51am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CaptainShuddup says

    Yes, what I don't trust is all of the assholes that is keen to redefine everything for everyone else.

    Like MERS!

  5. 121212


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    16   10:52am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    JFP says

    That's a problem if you are being foreclosed on, or perhaps if you are buying foreclosed properties. If you are not, it's not an issue.

    Not an issue, your blind, you have no idea of the scope and impact this is having on the entire real estate industry.

    This impacts "EVERYONE" who owns property.

  6. JFP


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    17   10:55am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    121212 says

    JFP says

    That's a problem if you are being foreclosed on, or perhaps if you are buying foreclosed properties. If you are not, it's not an issue.

    Not an issue, your blind, you have no idea of the scope and impact this is havening on the entire real estate industry.

    This effects "EVERYONE" who owns property.

    I've followed the MERS story closely, but it clearly hasn't had the impact that a lot of people thought it would have. If it was affecting the real estate market substantially in my area, I would know about it, because my neighbors wouldn't be able to sell their houses. They are all having no trouble doing so. So, why should I care about MERS?

  7. 121212


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    18   10:57am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    JFP says

    I've followed the MERS story closely, but it clearly hasn't had the impact that a lot of people thought it would have. If it was affecting the real estate market substantially in my area, I would know about it, because my neighbors wouldn't be able to sell their houses. They are all having no trouble doing so. So, why should I care about MERS?

    It has been a contributing factor to the $7 Trillion loss real estate has suffered over the past 3 1/2 yrs.

  8. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    19   10:58am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    JFP says

    Given the policies of the Fed, I think if you are waiting for a greater decline to buy, you are going to be waiting a long time.

    I agree, at least 2 more years and think of all the rent money you will waist in 2 years! Buy now cause people in the BA are only getting richer and smarter.

  9. 121212


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    20   10:58am Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Did you ignore the "Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General, Sues Big Banks' Mortgage Registry" story?

  10. JFP


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    21   12:03pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    121212 says

    Did you ignore the "Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General, Sues Big Banks' Mortgage Registry" story?

    What is there to ignore? The suit was filed in 2011, and has had no effect on the real estate market.

  11. JFP


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    22   12:07pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    JFP says

    Given the policies of the Fed, I think if you are waiting for a greater decline to buy, you are going to be waiting a long time.

    I agree, at least 2 more years and think of all the rent money you will waist in 2 years! Buy now cause people in the BA are only getting richer and smarter.

    Is this supposed to be a serious comment?

  12. JFP


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    23   12:24pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    @donjumpsuit

    Thanks. That's a helpful graph. I agree the CPI is flawed, but all indexes have problems. I'm also not sure that 140 is that unsustainable in the Bay Area given the continuing internet bubble.

  13. bmwman91


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    24   12:37pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    JFP says

    I'm also not sure that 140 is that unsustainable in the Bay Area given the continuing internet bubble.

    If inventories stay where they are, house prices will continue their upward trajectory in the SFBA. There are EASILY more people with the financial resources and willingness to support much higher prices than there are decent properties available. Demand is probably somewhere between the historical norm or a little below that, but inventories are waaaaaay below the historical norm. So: supply

    IF, and it is a big if, the government stops doling out easy-money loans or interest rates rise without being accompanied by inflation (which is somewhere between unlikely and impossible), things could reverse. It would knock out the entire segment of buyers that only care about the monthly payment on a house. If inventories were to increase back to historical norms, that would also put a roof over prices. For now, the Fed has been very effective at driving investors of all sizes into RE, and there is a lot of momentum there that will also keep pushing prices. Rising house prices are part of openly-stated public and monetary policy. Obama and Bernanke have outright said so. It'll take a big hiccup in the economy to diminish the efficacy of those policies.

  14. zzyzzx


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    25   8:41pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    As an example, if a house price was $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $275,000 today adjusted for inflation.

    Problem with this logic is that house price inflation tracks wage inflation. Therefore adjusted for inflation, a $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $200,000 today!

  15. New Renter


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    26   9:11pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    JFP says

    Is this supposed to be a serious comment?

    From a guy with the handle "RentingForHalfTheCost? I think not.

  16. JFP


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    27   9:53pm Thu 27 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    As an example, if a house price was $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $275,000 today adjusted for inflation.

    Problem with this logic is that house price inflation tracks wage inflation. Therefore adjusted for inflation, a $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $200,000 today!

    Right. That's what he is saying. Real prices are at the same level as the year 2000.

  17. HEY YOU


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    28   1:05am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    121212 says

    What trust is left in the system?

    Do you trust the chain of ownership?

    The only way I'll have trust in a purchase, is that I receive the wet ink mortgage & wet ink promissory note at closing. If it's not there, might have a problem in the future. I don't trust title insurance. Can they back all their policies.If I buy today & they go under tomorrow, FMTT.

  18. Kevin


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    29   2:34am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    As an example, if a house price was $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $275,000 today adjusted for inflation.

    Problem with this logic is that house price inflation tracks wage inflation. Therefore adjusted for inflation, a $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $200,000 today!

    It is much cheaper to buy a $275,000 house today than it was to buy a $200,000 house in January 2000. $1209 vs. $987 @ 20% down.

    Not only that, tax rates are much lower, so even if wages are stagnate people can afford more!

    Anybody counting on a big decline in national prices is an idiot. Inevitably it's SFBA people who can't see beyond that backwards ass crazy town.

  19. Kevin


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    30   2:36am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    HEY YOU says

    121212 says

    What trust is left in the system?

    Do you trust the chain of ownership?

    The only way I'll have trust in a purchase, is that I receive the wet ink mortgage & wet ink promissory note at closing. If it's not there, might have a problem in the future. I don't trust title insurance. Can they back all their policies.If I buy today & they go under tomorrow, FMTT.

    Or, more likely, nothing happens. Every single case I've ever heard of of title problems came from people with crazy complex mortgages (and second mortgages) who had been foreclosed on.

  20. zzyzzx


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    31   8:48am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    Not only that, tax rates are much lower,

    Not property taxes.

  21. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    32   8:50am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    JFP says

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    JFP says

    Given the policies of the Fed, I think if you are waiting for a greater decline to buy, you are going to be waiting a long time.

    I agree, at least 2 more years and think of all the rent money you will waist in 2 years! Buy now cause people in the BA are only getting richer and smarter.

    Is this supposed to be a serious comment?

    Yes, run out now and give you money to any owner. They worked hard to keep the house from falling apart and deserve all your money. Give then 100k over asking and don't ask any questions. Then become a slave to the bank and watch as the owners drive off in their new Mercedes. They worked so hard for your money you have nothing to do but smile and wave. God love them, they are the ones that shall inherit the earth.

  22. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    33   8:51am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    It is much cheaper to buy a $275,000 house today than it was to buy a $200,000 house in January 2000. $1209 vs. $987 @ 20% down.

    The 20% down is not cheaper, neither is the property tax, HOA (if any), maintenance, insurance, etc. The debt for the free money is only part of your worries.

  23. Kevin


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    34   11:59am Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Kevin says

    It is much cheaper to buy a $275,000 house today than it was to buy a $200,000 house in January 2000. $1209 vs. $987 @ 20% down.

    The 20% down is not cheaper, neither is the property tax, HOA (if any), maintenance, insurance, etc. The debt for the free money is only part of your worries.

    Down payment difference is not relevant. Even with fha its much cheaper to buy. Property taxes are flat in half of states, and up less than the declines in income taxes. Given that we are talking about it being 10-15% cheaper today, there is a lot of headroom.

    The fact is its cheaper to own today than in 2000. I know you guys live in a fantasy world where housing is always more expensive than it used to be, but reality is knocking.

  24. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    35   3:28pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    Down payment difference is not relevant.

    Please send the difference of 20% of 275K verses 200K to my savings account if it is not relevant. Lets see that is 20% of 75K = $15,000! Nice, I'll email you the account numbers directly. Man, I can't wait. I'll use the money to do an irrelevant trip around the world. I'll eat irrelevant pasta and drink wine in Italy, I'll walk on the completely irrelevant China wall, and lastly surf the Australia waves, which as we all know don't mean shit. :)

    Waiting for the 15K with irrelevant honesty and modesty.
    Your humble servant and admirer,
    Poor renter folk

  25. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    36   3:33pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    I know you guys live in a fantasy world where housing is always more expensive than it used to be, but reality is knocking.

    Reality is knocking only in a fantasy world. Reality is a place we are going to be soon whether you like it or not. Many will be going kicking and screaming, and some will say "I told you so". Good luck on the journey to mediocre.

  26. Kevin


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    37   3:56pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Please send the difference of 20% of 275K verses 200K to my savings account if it is not relevant. Lets see that is 20% of 75K = $15,000! Nice, I'll email you the account numbers directly. Man, I can't wait. I'll use the money to do an irrelevant trip around the world. I'll eat irrelevant pasta and drink wine in Italy, I'll walk on the completely irrelevant China wall, and lastly surf the Australia waves, which as we all know don't mean shit. :)

    Waiting for the 15K with irrelevant honesty and modesty.

    Your humble servant and admirer,

    Poor renter folk

    Sorry, but if you can afford $1200 a month for a mortgage while saving the $40,000 required for 20% down at 200k, you can afford to save $15000 more.

    If you can't afford the down payment, get an FHA loan. An FHA loan on $275,000 is STILL cheaper than a traditional 30 year fixed in 2000, even with PMI!

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Reality is knocking only in a fantasy world. Reality is a place we are going to be soon whether you like it or not. Many will be going kicking and screaming, and some will say "I told you so". Good luck on the journey to mediocre.

    Like I said, if you're making that bet, good luck to you. In 5 years houses will be more expensive and interest rates will be higher than they are today. I'm sure then you'll be claiming that prices are poised for another crash and that anybody who buys is an idiot.

    My mortgage payment as of Monday will be $1733 a month. My home was appraised last week at $590k. Keep telling yourself that buying is so much more expensive.

  27. JFP


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    38   1:11pm Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Kevin says

    I know you guys live in a fantasy world where housing is always more expensive than it used to be, but reality is knocking.

    Reality is knocking only in a fantasy world. Reality is a place we are going to be soon whether you like it or not. Many will be going kicking and screaming, and some will say "I told you so". Good luck on the journey to mediocre.

    How about instead of trolling, you add something substantive to the discussion? Like telling us whether you think housing prices will drop in the next two years, and if so, why?

  28. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    39   1:16am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    My home was appraised last week at $590k.

    Most likely a great time to sell then. Go for it and let us know how close you get to that appraisal. My bet is about 480k. ;)

  29. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    40   1:24am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    Sorry, but if you can afford $1200 a month for a mortgage while saving the $40,000 required for 20% down at 200k, you can afford to save $15000 more.

    No sorry needed. Please send the 15K to my account. I am packed for my trip and waiting. ;)

    15K is only about 4 times the national savings average. Irrelevant I guess.

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/american-family-financial-statistics/

  30. Kevin


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    41   11:26am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Kevin says

    My home was appraised last week at $590k.

    Most likely a great time to sell then. Go for it and let us know how close you get to that appraisal. My bet is about 480k. ;)

    My neighbor sold a smaller but otherwise identical home for $570 last month. I'll be listing next year after my new house construction is complete.

    And, again, you can just use FHA and its still cheaper than in 2000. That's why the down payment difference is irrelevant.

    You van come rent my house if you want. Places like this start at $3000/mo . I'll even pay the utilities

  31. RentingForHalfTheCost


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    42   11:37am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Kevin says

    You van come rent my house if you want. Places like this start at $3000/mo . I'll even pay the utilities

    If you can beat a 2800 sqft house with 12000sqft lot, pool/jacuzzi/bbq, lush garden, modern appliances, 4bd/3ba, 2car garage, walking distance to downtown, then maybe. Otherwise, good luck finding the proper tenant. One bad tenant can set you back a years rent easily. ;)

  32. JFP


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    43   7:24pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Kevin says

    You van come rent my house if you want. Places like this start at $3000/mo . I'll even pay the utilities

    If you can beat a 2800 sqft house with 12000sqft lot, pool/jacuzzi/bbq, lush garden, modern appliances, 4bd/3ba, 2car garage, walking distance to downtown, then maybe. Otherwise, good luck finding the proper tenant. One bad tenant can set you back a years rent easily. ;)

    We get it. You have a brain-dead landlord, and are an investing genius. Now, why don't you contribute something useful to the discussion.

  33. Kevin


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    44   9:09pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    RentingForHalfTheCost says

    Kevin says

    You van come rent my house if you want. Places like this start at $3000/mo . I'll even pay the utilities

    If you can beat a 2800 sqft house with 12000sqft lot, pool/jacuzzi/bbq, lush garden, modern appliances, 4bd/3ba, 2car garage, walking distance to downtown, then maybe. Otherwise, good luck finding the proper tenant. One bad tenant can set you back a years rent easily. ;)

    I have a quarter acre lot, 5 bedrooms, play room, office, high end chef's kitchen, big deck, and walking distance to the second best elementary school in the state. 3600sf

    No pool, but its Washington, and nobody has pools here.

  34. Dan8267


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    45   8:17am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    JFP says

    Does anyone seriously expect a drop below these levels?

    Absolutely. The entire article from calculatedriskblog.com is wrong. The Case-Shiller Index is already adjusted for inflation. That's why it's meaningful to graph the values from 1890 to today. calculatedriskblog.com is simply double applying an adjustment for inflation and therefore overestimating the correction.

    Here's the real graph of the index from Business Insider.

    The data points, up to October 2012, can be obtained directly from Standard And Poors

    Going by the S&P data, even the 20-city composite is only back to September 2003 levels, well into the bubble. Tampa, FL is back to Feb 2003.

    Now there are some places where the correction is done. Those places are the ones least affected by the bubble and you can tell where they are by seeing a CS Index that's the same as 1999. Places like Florida and CA are still way overpriced.

    The fact is that people's nominal income is still not one bit higher than it was in 1999. People simply cannot afford to spend more on a house today than they could in 1999.

  35. Buster


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    46   8:35am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The Case Shiller is indexed for inflation but does not account for the general inflation trends of housing & rents. If this is taken into account, we are at 'normal housing/rent prices'

  36. Dan8267


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    47   8:59am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Buster says

    House prices went up in the 1970s and 1980s because wages went up during this period. How can house prices increase when wages are stagnant and falling?

  37. Buster


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    48   9:04am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    How can the price of food, clothing and gas increase when wages are stagnant and falling? Good question but the same answer; because they can I guess.

  38. Dan8267


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    49   9:10am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Buster says

    How can the price of food, clothing and gas increase when wages are stagnant and falling? Good question but the same answer; because they can I guess.

    Housing costs an enormous amount. It is the single greatest expense that a person has. As such, it cannot increase unless the person's income increases.

    Food, clothing, and gas are much smaller and elastic. They can increase because people can accept less of them. For example, people stop driving except to and from work; people eat at home instead of at restaurants; people eat hamburger instead of steak; people buy fewer clothes and use them longer.

    Furthermore, since food, clothing, and gas are tiny expenses compared to a person's overall income, in contrast to housing, people can sacrifice other luxuries like going out to the movies or vacations to pay for them. People can't make significant diversions of resources to housing because it already consumes way too much of their income.

    Warren Elizabeth proved this when she conducted a study on the discretionary spending of Americans families in the 1970s versus today. It turned out that today we have far less discretionary income because of housing, health care, and college.

  39. Call it Crazy


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    50   9:17am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    Housing costs an enormous amount. It is the single greatest expense that a person has. As such, it cannot increase unless the person's income increases.

    Exactly!! Which is why this "housing recovery" this year can't sustain itself.....

  40. Buster


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    51   9:26am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    Housing costs an enormous amount. It is the single greatest expense that a person has. As such, it cannot increase unless the person's income increases.

    I hear what you are saying Dan. But I really don't buy the fact that there is no discretionary spending room left in the average american's budget. As anecdotal evidence of this, whenever I stroll though my or other neighborhoods as I sometimes do on the weekends, I am always amazed when it seems that 3/4 of all open garages that I peer into are PACKED to the gills with JUNK, not even leaving room for their cars. If americans would cut out their weekly shopping adventures to Wally World perhaps they would find some added $$$.

    That said, admittedly, there are limits to every budget. But the wealthy in this country ARE seeing salary increases. As long as the poor keep voting in congressional leaders who support tax and other breaks for the wealthy this will continue. This is the very reason why rich areas are getting more expensive while middle class and under areas continue to go down in value.

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