OK: Let's get this out up front, I may be wrong in my approach here, if anyone can pick holes in it, please have at this, I am trying to make sense out of data provided by the government, who seems to be going out of it's way to make the data opaque. If I am wrong, point it out and I will retract in a front page way, no pg 8 retractions here
There have been a couple of great articles over at Jesse's Cafe Americain and the Automatic Earth (sounds kinda like a rock band when you phrase it like that). concerning the nature of mortgage debt and other such bad juju heading our way.
Here is the chart that caused all the ruckus.
I can't really argue their logic when faced with this data. What I questioned was the data that led into it. I went over and tried to find the original data sets used in the graph. The FHFA doesn't make this too easy to do. But, the best that I could sort out is that the property values (shown in the above chart as the red line) is all residential property in the US.
So, with the tried and true method of eyeballing the chart above and plugging my eyeball estimates into a spreadsheet I got a graph looking pretty much like the one above.
Now the real point to this is that the mortgaged property should be compared to the value of the property mortgaged, not the entire housing stock. So when you type in "Percentage of homes in the US with no mortgage" you get this.
So 30% of the homes are out of the mix. Now since I am not laying claim to a huge helping of precision here, I figure that you oughta multiply the numbers from the chart above by 0.70. So, in go the numbers and you get a new chart that looks like this.