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Shadow Inventory Continues Steady Decline

About 939,000 homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure as of August 2013, compared to 1.4 million in August 2012, a 33 percent decrease of the "shadow inventory". August was the 22nd consecutive month with a year-over-year decline. The foreclosure inventory declined 3.2 percent from July 2013 to August 2013, and delinquent homes represented just 2.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage in August, compared to 3.3 percent in August 2012.

The housing market's "shadow inventory" decreased 22 percent from 2.4 million homes in July 2012 to 1.9 million in July 2013, according to a recent CoreLogic report. The inventory is down 38 percent from its peak in January 2010, when it reached 3 million homes.

"Over the past year, the value of the U.S. shadow inventory dropped by $87 billion -- a sign of increased normalcy in the housing market," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "With a year-over-year decrease of 22 percent in July, shadow inventory has now declined steadily for 10 consecutive months."

Shadow inventory includes properties that are more than 90 days delinquent, in foreclosure and held as real estate owned (REO) by mortgage servicers, but not currently on multiple listing services. Current residential shadow inventory represents a supply of 3.7 months, compared to the previous year's supply of 6.0 months. Almost half the homes in the shadow inventory are delinquent but not yet foreclosed.

"A surge in completed foreclosures and a rise in the foreclosure inventory is unlikely given continued house price improvements and shortages of supply in many markets," said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

Total shadow inventory has declined year-over-year by double digits for 10 consecutive months, and the value of shadow inventory is $293 billion, down from the previous year's $380 billion. The foreclosure inventory in August was 454,000 homes lower than a year earlier. Five states -- Florida, California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey -- account for 43 percent of the nation's distressed properties.

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June 16, 2019, 10:35 pm PDT

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