Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Red Hot American Real Estate

The following map shows real estate assets across America and reinforces visually what many real estate surveys have suggested.

The greater the concentration of high-interest lending in any metropolitan area, the “hotter” the color:

* Blue areas represent relatively fewer high-interest loans.
* Green to yellow areas have moderate amounts of high-interest loans.
* Red areas have the most concentrated number of high-interest loans.

Palantir Technologies Huffington Post

Here is the webpage link for details from the Center for Public Integrity.

Zillow is notoriously unreliable in the northeast, as they have been pricing houses under the market in many cases here. Yet the Wall Street Journal refers to Zillow in today's Wall Street Journal article, "House-Price Drops Leave More Underwater", possibly because they hadn't any better source. Zillow says that houses are worth less than their sale prices three years ago and 20% of mortgages in America are worth less than the current estimated price of a house. Worse, Mr. Humphries, vice-president at says that "Zillow doesn't include foreclosures in its pricing models."

Even if Zillow doesn't count what buyers might have paid since taking out a mortgage, this is supposed to be a conservative estimate, as my own experience with Zillow would corroborate. In our case, the Zestimate is way off since Zillow only doubled our down payment from fifteen years ago. Even our taxes and town name are incorrect.

Here's a table, even though it might not be that reliable, courtesy of the WSJ:

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