New data reported by HousingZone.com
is just part of a much deeper, grimmer story about what's going on in the housing market. The report states that
"The percentage of American single-family homes with mortgages in negative equity rose to 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter from 21 percent in the third quarter."
But that figure doesn't include all of the people who have already lost their homes. And get this, a Bloomberg report
says that last year, the third quarter alone saw 940,000 home foreclosures.
"analysts from Amherst Securities Group LP in New York said Sept. 23. A “shadow inventory” of 7 million properties are in the foreclosure process or likely to be seized, up from 1.27 million in 2005."
Let me just repeat that: 7 MILLION FORECLOSURES
. That's six times as many foreclosures as there are new homes built in the best of years. A lot of people are suffering.
In this tsunami of bad debt and overvalued property, the green niche of the new home market has been one of the few bright spots. Apparently, buyers are waking up to the fact that a home built for energy efficiency and durability is a better long term investment than a home that isn't equipped for higher energy prices and uncertainty of the future. In Seattle, for example, as some regions saw double digit dips in home values, Built Green certified homes actually rose 2 percent
Of course, it's a big country, and geography, demographics and local economies matter. But other studies have supported the contention that green buildings are weathering the storm. For example, a CoStar study
in found that:
"Energy Star buildings are selling for an average of $61 per square foot more than their peers, while LEED buildings command a remarkable $171 more per square foot."
For an interesting view of what's going on with green properties, check ou this alternative home listing site
. You'll see that some pricey eco-friendly homes are selling nicely.