Owning a home use to be part of the "American Dream." You bought a house and started your family. You grew old in that same house.
Well, some where along the way that changed for many. Suddenly houses became a great investment. You bought one and then you kept trading up. Then, when you were ready to retire you sold that and bought a nice cute house and used the profits to retire on.
Problem is, that is a historical anomaly. Houses typically have been an ok investment but didn't produce the kind of out-seized profits you saw in the last decade or so. Houses were shelters; you invested your money in something else. It appears we may be headed back to the way it was.
First American CoreLogic released the Q1 2010 negative equity report this week.
This graph shows the negative equity and near negative equity by state.
Ten percent or more of homeowners have negative equity in 33 states and the D.C., and over 20% have negative equity or near negative equity in 23 states and D.C. This is a widespread problem.
Note: Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming are NA on the graph above.