We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe this is also true of charts and graphs. A well designed chart has a way of conveying dense economic and statistical information in a visually pleasing way that even your most innumerate FB can understand. A good chart can also pack in an extraordinary amount of data plotted along multiple variables in a very small space that can have an immediate gut-punch impact that no amount of dry exposition can duplicate.
And let's face it, how many ADD-afflicted Uh-merikans are going to listen to you rant on about the bubble-blowing Fed, Yen carry-trade, mortgaged-backed securities, or MLS cartel for the minimum 2-3 hours it would take you to explain them all? Good charts are your best ally in educating the clueless or confronting the REIC Kool-aid stormtroopers.
The following are some that I believe should be part of every Patrick.netter's Bubble-battling toolkit. I recommend downloading these, and possibly even keeping hard copies at hand, for whenever the need to counter REIC bullshit comes up (which is probably fairly often).
Of course, we all know about the famous Shiller housing price chart:
Or the Credit-Suisse ARM reset chart:
Other strong contenders include:
Businessweek's "Map of Misery":
Calculated Risk's home inventory chart (sorry, can link to but not display chart for some reason)
Calculated Risk's MEW chart:
ForeclosurePulse's U.S. foreclosures "heatmap":
CalculatedRisk's MEW as % of total U.S. GDP chart:
PrudentBear's home Equity as % of market value:
How about a whole boat-load of RE related charts from Credit-Suisse?
What are some of your favorites?
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FollowBefriend1 threads750 comments Redwood City, CA
I like CR's MEW chart. It shows a pretty clear picture of Greenspan 'dodging the recession bullet' with the housing bubble, but also shows that they have no clear way to keep the GDP looking healthy just yet. I suspect they hoped the bubble would have lasted longer, but inflated a touch more slowly, so that the underlying economy would have been strong enough to slowly deflate the bubble.
FollowBefriend8 threads1,513 comments
The ARM reset chart - I remember being disappointed after seeing that. Yes, lot of subprime loans are going to reset soon (or happening as we speak), but the process lasts for 5 more years for other loans. The prime and Alt-A are important from BA point of view and they don't reset en masse for at least another year.
I was also surprised to see that Option ARM resets don't really start till 2009. I thought they were the most vulnerable.
The option ARMs are vulnerable because many people who got them don't realize that if you pay the minimum payment, you speed up the reset because you're LOSING equity on those homes since the payment is less than the interest on the loan. Usually the option ARMS were given to people with at least SOME down payment, so that if they made minimum payments the houses wouldn't be underwater right away. However, if you get past a certain LTV, they reset to fully amortized ARMs at whatever the current rate is.
So... if you got one and have been making minimum payments, your reset schedule is much earlier than 2009-2011. If your house loses value and your nervous bank reappraises it, your reset schedule could be much earlier.
Option ARMS are really sophisticated tools for people with fluctuating income who PLAN on making double payments whenever they can to make up for the minimum payments they only make whenever they have to. Unfortunately, i doubt many people use them that way. If you had that kind of discipline, you'd be socking away the extra during flush months to cover the weak months yourself. I expect many of the Option ARMS are going to be flushed out of the system much earlier.
FollowBefriend2,842 comments Carlsbad, CAMalcolm's website
I like the map as well.
FollowBefriend (1)119 threads4,785 comments HARM's website
The "Map of Misery" is an excellent choice, and I'm surprised I forgot to include it --just added it above (refresh to see).
The map of misery is awesome. I really like the Bay Area, but looking at how many Option ARMS there are (30%?) in the vicinity, you can understand how people might be holding their own still... they're not amortizing. Or are reverse amortizing. When those nuts crack, ouch.
I love all the charts, but I will print the MAP OF MISERY and keep it by my desk, just in case the koolaid salesmen start calling again. You and your bloggers saved me from Intense Misery, Patrick. Last January I was flirting with the idea to buy a
charming house in Riverside that is now 225 K less ( just in 7 months!!!! ) Yesterday's Standard & Poor's news sealed it for me.Thanks everyone !!
FollowBefriend63 comments SQT57's website
The bright red color of the state of California on the Map of Misery is just beautiful.
FollowBefriend1 threads6,749 comments
I'm not even sure any form of "re-appraisal" is required. Now I've never had one, but I believe it's a pre-determined amount that triggers a stepped up payment. The lender will only let you go so far in the neg. before an adjustment needs to be made to put you back on a 30 yr. amoritization. Which in our case is good news.
It shines above all the rest!
FollowBefriend4 threads2,259 comments
I'm not sure where Randy got his Shiller Graph, but that is the one I carry around in my wallet. I especially like it for the projections of previous cycles on the current one and the green line indicating "housing only keeps pace with inflation". Quite helpful when explaining to folks where the market is heading (and why).
I was just suggesting that you don't even have to be doing Neg Am. If you're just treading water with the interest only, or maybe even making principal payments, but your zipcode drops 20%, I BELIEVE the bank can reassess the value and trigger the ARM adjustment/fully amortized rate.
FollowBefriend15 threads1,255 comments
And let’s face it, how many ADD-afflicted Uh-merikans are going to listen to you rant on about the bubble-blowing Fed, Yen carry-trade, mortgaged-backed securities, or MLS cartel for the minimum 2-3 hours it would take you to explain them all? Good charts are your best ally in educating the clueless and stupid
While I agree completely with the value of charts, I think the tone of this is needlessly disparaging. I work with some extremely sharp and highly-educated people, who are far from being ADD-afflicted. Even they don't all know what a huge financial mess this is - not because they are dumb but mainly because it is too complex for a non-financial person to grasp.
Besides, there are layers upon layers of self-interested parties at every step (from your loan officer all the way through to the top of the Fed) whose livelihood depends on not telling you like it is - which makes it very difficult for people to easily understand the real value of what is being offered in exchange for their signature on the dotted line.
Basically, all I am saying is that it is not just the ADD afflicted numbnuts who don't get it. The whole system is so corrupted by self-serving parties, spin-doctors and con-artists that most people can't see clearly through the fog without putting in significant effort.
@HARM, you should also include that Shiller Roller-Coaster video from youtube in your links.
Towards the last 20% of the ride, the colour gradually drained out of the face of every person I showed it to, including some who were still bullish on RE. I vote to call it the Shiller-Chiller (tm)
Oh, and a while ago, someone posted a link to a 'heat-map' of the greater Los Angeles area during the previous bubble/bust years (like 1988-1995). It was a succession of maps, showing how the prices fell over the years. I don't remember where it was from, but it really painted a very graphic picture.
I think the tone of this is needlessly disparaging.
Perhaps the "stupid" comment was out of line, but I really don't think 'ADD-afflicted' is a poor choice when it comes to describing your typical Joe Howmuchamonth. However, I agree that it does take a great deal perseverance and personal research and determination to cut through the REIC fog of war.
I would categorize your typical American homebuyer thusly:
--Uh-merikans (Google "Idiocracy"): Largest group by far, and most likely to be willfully resistant to and/or unable to learn anything new that counters their hallowed (and usually wrong) belief systems. Not really worth the bother, and unlikely to ever be "edumacated" by anything other than the School of Hard Knocks.
--Ignorant but teachable: Much smaller subset of basically intelligent but RE/economics uninformed people, who might be teachable if approached the right way, with facts, lots of patience and respect. These are the people SP was referring to.
--Perma-bulls and REIC trolls: Small subset of population who not only refuse to be schooled, but react violently to any facts that counter their worldview. In many cases, they are well aware of the validity of the bubble's existence and inevitable mean-reversion, but are compelled by their professions/income (employed in the REIC) to continue to spin lies and propaganda they know to be utterly false. Some are simply hyper-competitive people and enjoy the game of playing Devil's advocate/contrarian-for-contrarian's sake.
FollowBefriend1 comments Speculative Bubble's website
the Shiller-Chiller ™ - HA HA That's fantastic SP!
Roller coaster video on youtube:
For those who think I might be a heartless, laissez-faire, no-regulation, anarchic capitalist, please review "The Limits of Caveat Emptor".
FollowBefriend26 comments Minneapolis, MN
HARM, Thank you for the graphs. I like Shiller best: RE goes always up NOT. The MEW and equity graphs were new to me. When the MEW debt is repaid, there should be a negative effect on GDP. It would be interesting to know when the net effect of MEW goes from positive to negative. The equity graph is revealing about the "ownership society" of debtors. Do you know if there is a statistic of how many homeowners have at least 80% equity in their homes? People with less seem to be rather homedebtors than -owners. 80% is an arbitrary cut-off, of course, but this number plays an important role in the housing market (PMI, HELOC interest rates) that such a statistic might be available somewhere.
In the ARM reset chart, what is Agency ARM?
> what is Agency ARM?
I guess they are ARM mortages held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the "agencies".
FollowBefriend307 comments HelloKitty's website
I love the map of misery. CA sticks out like bright red sore thumb that it is.
Peter T, your post reminded me of one of Paul Kasriel's insights into MEW and home equity. According to his information, about one-third of Americans today own their homes entirely free of debt. Stats and graphs on equity extraction and equity percentages would have more clarity - and would look far worse - if they were to strip out households carrying no debt against the value of their homes.
I guess they are ARM mortages held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the “agencies”.
Exactly. "Agency" is an old-fashioned term referring to GSE (Government Sponsored Enterprises), specifically Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.
I don't know the exact distribution of mortgage debt, but according to CalculatedRisk, approx. 1/3rd of all homeowners own their homes free-and-clear and these people were included in that "average" equity figure (currently at a new low of 52.7%). Which also means that the other 2/3rds of homedebtors have on average much, much less equity than that. And of course, a substantial percentage now have NEGATIVE equity --especially here in the heart of NAAVLP country (CA).
Thanks, HARM, I see it was CR.
FollowBefriend (4)44 threads4,602 comments Los Altos, CA
The figures I've seen are closer to 80% "average" equity ownership. The problem with these computations is that homes with no debt are not accurately included in the statistics at market value, whereas homes that are financed are expressed closer to market value.
In other words, the little old lady who owns the 1962 ranch outright is included at her purchase price of $28,000, not at the current market value of $650,000 of equity value.
So its quite likely the percentage of equity-to-value ownership is much higher than 50%.
But it's also then even more distorted when considering all the "others" HARM is talking about. I suspect they own very very little equity.
Not surprising. Just another example of the vastly disproportionate wealth-gap that has developed in the US. It's as if there are 2 classes of "home owner". Those who own a lot or all of a very valuable asset, and those who own little or negatively owe on a very valuable asset.
FollowBefriend7 threads438 comments
I like this graph showing historical house prices in san jose. I flash out the link when ever someone tells me Bay Area prices never go down.
only thing from that chart thats missing is the prices after 2002. Does anyone have an updated version?
FollowBefriend4 threads76 comments
Ayyy...Say it aint so...the CEO of Ooga Labs wants to further inflate the Bay Area bubble by telling every recent engineering grad he knows to pack up and move here cuz the start-up environment, climate and social tolerance are just so awesome:
"Don't make my mistake!
So you're going to take a cube job with slow Microsoft, bureaucratic Oracle, or with some boring financial company?
C'mon! Do you want spend all of your life wearing modest habits of charcoal grey, driving your Volvo on the salty roads of the drab East Coast, paying 50% of your earnings to taxes, and hanging out with narrow minded people, congratulating yourselves on improving a feature of a widget of version 12.1b.4 of some software, or maybe improving the financial return of some rich bald dude in Greenwich, CT by 0.2% above the S&P Index?
Has no one taken you aside and said, "Wait! You're about to waste 10 years of your life figuring out the path you chose out of college is crap!"
No one did to me either when I went to Princeton, and it took me until I was 31 to get my ass out to San Francisco and do tech start ups. Don't make my mistake. Save yourself now. Even if you don't work for me. I mean it.
Out here, you think about the future. Out here, you are surrounded by colorful, dynamic technologists and entrepreneurs who are really making a difference, pushing the edge.
Most people think that working for a big or known company will give them good experience. That's kind of like saying learning to sit still for dental surgery is good experience. Sure, it's an experience, but there are life paths where you don't have to have dental surgery, or work for a big company, to have the best life. In fact, I would argue that you learn the wrong things working for a big company, and that it's actually not good experience. A good experience is when you really make something happen in the world. Big companies teach you how to work through layers of bureaucracy and how to solve problems in very risk-averse ways -- in short, how to make something happen in their organization. A big company is not the safe career choice. It's the risky choice. It risks your mind and your life.
Oh, and one more thing. Initially, your friends and family may not understand why you didn't take that "safe" cube-job with the company whose name they know, but in two years they will understand. They will love using the websites you build, and they will talk often with their friends about it. They will see you having a vibrant life, pushing the edge of what's happening, and they'll be proud to know you.
Take a few minutes and reconsider your first "starting point" out of college. It sets up a direction that takes some time to change. Aim yourself in the right direction. Again, you don't have to come to Ooga Labs, just get to the Bay Area and join a startup. You will never regret it."
The influx of tech talent into the Bay Area right now is real. The current housing bubble lagged the last great influx by a couple years. I remember when I moved here in 1996. Rentals were tough, but one could buy a house at an incredible price. We rented a house for 2 months until we bought a home for less than $1K/mo more in PITI, which we bought below asking price.
The *real* ridiculous house price explosion didn't happen until after the post dot-com exodus had already started.
The risk is that too many new people come before housing prices correct, forcing up all our rents. If you don't think rents can rise quickly, ask anyone who was living on a short-term lease circa 1998-99 how fast their rents increased. At one point we had 3 (maybe more) guys living out of our offices and one guy who bought a Winnebago to park in our back parking lot to live out of. All of these people would have done better to have bought a house, even at that point in the cycle.
"I remember when I moved here in 1996. Rentals were tough, but one could buy a house at an incredible price."
Ah...but things were very different just 11 years ago. Interest rates were higher and lending standards were much tighter. The "interest only" mortgage was still a dusty relic from the roaring 20s. Most other exotic financing instruments were unheard of. And...get this...just 11 short years ago, people were actually TURNED DOWN for mortgages.
Oh those were the days.....
the CEO of Ooga Labs wants to further inflate the Bay Area bubble by telling every recent engineering grad he knows to pack up and move here cuz the start-up environment, climate and social tolerance are just so awesome
Save that webpage. Don't just bookmark it, do a view-source and save it. Because a couple of years from now, it will be good for a laugh and oogalabs.com's website may no longer be around.
FollowBefriend3 threads1,170 comments
Ah…but things were very different just 11 years ago. Interest rates were higher and lending standards were much tighter. The “interest only” mortgage was still a dusty relic from the roaring 20s. Most other exotic financing instruments were unheard of. And…get this…just 11 short years ago, people were actually TURNED DOWN for mortgages.
Oh those were the days…..
Well don't forget, September 11th happened - that changed everything. We had to save freedom and america by make sure that everyone who could breath could buy a home. Otherwise, the terrorists would've.
The risk is that too many new people come before housing prices correct, forcing up all our rents. If you don’t think rents can rise quickly, ask anyone who was living on a short-term lease circa 1998-99 how fast their rents increased. At one point we had 3 (maybe more) guys living out of our offices and one guy who bought a Winnebago to park in our back parking lot to live out of. All of these people would have done better to have bought a house, even at that point in the cycle.
I was here for that. That left an enduring scar in my mind that continues to encourage me to want to buy - fast.
I'm seeing it here in Mountain View/Sunnyvale - heck even the Penn. Rent is going up 6-7% around. Now granted they were ridiculously low in 2003 - but they're back to where they should be by now and then some.
I had (mistakenly) asked:
> Do you know if there is a statistic of how many homeowners have at least 80% equity in their homes?
I am interested not in the percentage of homeowners with 80% equity but with (at least) 20% equity. Below 20% equity, I would not consider them real owners but only aspiring ones.
To the "ownership" society: I am in favor of more people owning sizeable property (compared to their costs of living). To judge progress in that direction, however, I would like to exclude aspiring "owners" from those who actually do own. Getting excited about more people having a title to their house (e.g. 67% instead of 65%) is shallow. The number of homeowners with at least 20% equity and its change over the years would give a clearer picture of where we are headed.
FollowBefriend1 threads276 comments
i remember in 2000 the rents started to go up like crazy in bay area. i had 1bed apt for $1150/month and the new tenants were paying $1850/month. i also heard they come back down to $1000/month after the dot com bust.
>. I’m seeing it here in Mountain View/Sunnyvale - heck even the Penn. Rent is going up 6-7% around.
I am renting in Cupertino (95014), 2 bed, 1.5 bath. For last three years, rent has been going up 8%. As of now I am paying 2200.00 per month for 1050 square feet.
i thought working for start up was cool too & did work for one of them which went bust. currently working for little more stable company which is also a start up but a stable one. i didn't realize some of the benefits you get from big good companies until i talked to a friend. one guy recently retired after 25 years of service and just the retirement benefits pkg was a cool 1.5M
True in 1996 mortgages were much more traditional. However, "piggy back" loans were still quite common. People commonly used 2nd mortgages to meet the 20% downpayment needed to avoid PMI.
Rents are rising. No question in my mind. Too many people I know or work with are bitching about getting hit with 6%, 10%, 15% increases in the past year.
Even single-family-houses for rent are increasing. All the "theories" that the increasing supply of FB's trying to rent out their houses would hold down rents have proven faulty. When an equity-rich owner rents out the house at a reasonable price, it is descended upon like a rotting carcass and gone inside a week. All the rest are listed at a price that looks surprisingly exactly like the cost of a mortgage written around 2005.
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