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Denver Colorado Real Estate Blog -- Allison Smith - RSS feed - Add to Google

Thu, Apr 24th - 3:45PM


by:  Allison K. Smith, Realtor

What is .0076%?

 It is 76 ten-thousandths of 1 percent, clearly a very small number.  It also represents the percentage of sub prime loans compared to all outstanding loans in the United States.  Isn't it time for some perspective?

 There are currently $9.9 trillion dollars in mortgage loans in the United States.  Of that $9.9 trillion, there is only $75 billion in sub-prime loans or .0076%.  Does this .0076% really merit all of the negative attention and sensationalizing that the media is giving it – absolutely not! 

 Why is the media giving the sub-prime “melt down” so much publicity?  The true reason the media is harping on the sub prime sector is that many Fortune 100 and 500 Companies have purchased financial products as assets that have sub-prime loans within the product.  In years past, there has been a large rate of return on these products.  However, these companies now have to write off some of the losses they have incurred and that is why the media is having a field day.  What about the hundreds of billions of dollars in profit they have made on sub prime loans over the last 6 years? 

 It is a great time to buy and I think the following numbers will help put into perspective the skewed representation from the media that the housing industry is receiving:  

 99.9924% is the percentage of home loans that are NOT sub-prime loans

 97.4% of all mortgages are current and being paid on time

 6.9% is the average yearly rate of appreciation of homes since 1952

 30% of all homes in the United States are paid off

Interest rates are great and this is the perfect time for first time buyers to jump in the market and for investors to increase their portfolios.  In addition, according to an April 14 article on, "The first quarter of 2008 makes the 24th consecutive quarter that rental prices have escalated nationwide."  Further, the vacancy rates in the Denver metro area are well under 6% this year and are projected to go below 4% in 2009.  This translates into continued increases in rental prices. 

It has never been more true then, that "If you can afford to rent, you can afford to buy."  The interest rate trend from the last 15 months shows mortgage rates climbing from 6.2% in January 2007, to 6.6% in July 2007, and now plunging to the current rate of approximately 5.9%.  Forecasters predict rates to continue their downward trend through July 2008,,  thus indicating that right now is the best time for new buyers to get out of rental properties and enter the housing market! 


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