This Does Not Bode Well For Recovery

Underwater’ Mortgages to Hit 48%, Deutsche Bank Says (Update1)

By Jody Shenn
Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Almost half of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage are likely to owe more than their properties are worth before the housing recession ends, Deutsche Bank AG said.
The percentage of “underwater” loans may rise to 48 percent, or 25 million homes, as prices drop through the first quarter of 2011, Karen Weaver and Ying Shen, analysts in New York at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a report today.
As of March 31, the share of homes mortgaged for more than their value was 26 percent, or about 14 million properties, according to Deutsche Bank. Further deterioration will depress consumer spending and boost defaults by borrowers who face unemployment, divorce, disability or other financial challenges, the securitization analysts said.
“Borrowers may also ‘ruthlessly’ or strategically default even without such life events,” they wrote.
Seven markets in states with the fastest appreciation during the five-year housing boom -- including Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida; Merced and Modesto, California; and Las Vegas -- may find 90 percent of borrowers underwater, according to the report.
The share of borrowers owing more than 125 percent of their property’s value will increase to 28 percent from 13 percent, according to Weaver and Shen.
Home prices will decline another 14 percent on average, the analysts wrote.

Commentary: How is this recovery? The media and many analysts are painting an unrealistically rosy picture in my view. It will take more than a decade for many Americans to recover the net worth destroyed in the past 24 months.
Are these people going to spend the economy back to health? Or will they save like they have never saved before?