Every three months, the Federal Reserve gives us the massive Financial Accounts Of The United States, statistical release Z.1, the flow and landing place of every dollar in our economy. Zebra-One has no spin, just the facts. This newest release is through the fourth quarter of 2015. Although the report has always lagged a bit, it's worth the wait because buried in it is the best-available accounting of mortgages, which itself is often the best set of indicators for real estate markets of all kinds. Aggregate home equity has been restored Within Z.1, schedule B.100 recites the big numbers: U.S. homes owned by households: $22 trillion, just about back to bubble-peak in 2006. We owe just under $10 trillion, still $1.5 trillion below bubble-peak. Thus, we have restored our aggreg...
- U.S. homes owned by households: $22 trillion, just about back to bubble-peak in 2006. We owe just under $10 trillion, still $1.5 trillion below bubble-peak.
- We have restored our aggregate home equity the hard way: paying down by amortization -- and, painfully, by foreclosure.
- Now, $605 billion outstanding, a shadow of the $2.2 trillion at the peak. We have over-tightened there, thanks to Dodd-Frank -- legitimate jumbo loans too hard to do, and no home for loans with big down payments but non-Fannie incomes.