Foreclosure Listings Snapshot Shows Ominous Threat of Shadow Inventory

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RealtyStore studied active foreclosure listings vs foreclosed homes held by institutional owners and found the amount of pending listings exceeds the amount of active foreclosures listed for sale by a margin of over 2 to 1. This shadow inventory of foreclosed homes illustrates the significant risk to improving housing market conditions across the country.

A very serious backlog of foreclosure inventory remains for institutional owners to work through

RealtyStore (http://www.realtystore.com) has completed a new study of the foreclosure status in three major housing markets, finding the amount of pending listings exceeds the amount of active foreclosures listed for sale by a margin of over 2 to 1. This shadow inventory of foreclosed homes illustrates the significant overhang of foreclosure listings that are anticipated to be unleashed on the housing in the wake of resolving the so-called foreclosure robo-signing situation in late 2010. The study was conducted for Cook County, IL (including metro Chicago), Miami-Dade County, FL (including metro Miami) and Maricopa County, AZ (including metro Phoenix).

Foreclosure counts in each location were tabulated by owner, including bank or lender owned homes, foreclosures owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and HUD homes. Although Arizona had previously been one of the hardest hit areas for foreclosure activity, Cook County, IL shows a near equal total amount of foreclosed homes. Miami-Dade foreclosures number at roughly half the count of either other market.

"A very serious backlog of foreclosure inventory remains for institutional owners to work through," noted Tim Chin, CEO of RealtyStore. "Given our listings database still shows only 1 foreclosure for sale for nearly every 3 foreclosed homes in the markets surveyed, shadow inventory continues to pose an ongoing threat to home prices and sales rates in these markets. Our data sample supports the findings of other recent reports that a new wave of foreclosures is pending to hit housing markets across the country."

The breakdown of active foreclosure listings vs pending, or shadow inventory, foreclosures listings was consistent across each market surveyed. On average, 29% of total foreclosures across the counties is currently listed for sale. Cook County, IL foreclosures were most heavily represented with active listings, with 32% of its foreclosures presently being marketed to buyers, and 68% of foreclosures pending listing. Maricopa County, AZ foreclosure listings for sale represent only 25% of recorded foreclosures in the county, with 75% of local foreclosures yet to be listed for re-sale. Miami-Dade, FL currently offers 29% of its total foreclosures on the market for re-sale, with 71% of its foreclosure inventory awaiting listing on the market.

According to RealtyStore, median list prices of foreclosures for sale in Cook, Maricopa and Miami-Dade counties continue to run below average home prices. Cook County foreclosures are listed at a median price of just $72,650 and an average price of $95,997. Miami-Dade foreclosures list at a median price of $106,900 and average $145,059, while Maricopa lists foreclosed homes slightly higher with a median of $109,900 and the average foreclosure listed at a price of $168,744. The foreclosure median list prices come in at 56% and 42% below the median sales prices of single-family homes selling in metro-Chicago and Miami, respectively, as reported by the NAR in Q4, 2011. Metro-Phoenix posts a smaller price gap at 7%, suggesting foreclosure saturation may be peaking in Maricopa County.

Individual foreclosure listings continue to cover all portions of the pricing spectrum, ranging from as low as $5,900 for a single family foreclosed home in Chicago, IL to as high as a foreclosed estate in Paradise Valley, AZ listed at $5,700,000.

Reporting methodology
RealtyStore Reviews and Foreclosure Trends studies provide the total number of REO foreclosure properties with a recording date on or before the date of this release. REO properties have completed the foreclosure process and have been repossessed by a bank, lending institution or government sponsored loan guarantor such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD or the VA. REO title holders, inventory counts and prices in any area can vary at any time. REO counts and prices are accessed through RealtyStore’s proprietary database which is derived through hundreds of public and private data providers. Local housing market data is derived from third party and public records offices.

About RealtyStore
A division of Nations Info Corporation, RealtyStore (http://www.realtystore.com) is the nation's premier provider of foreclosure listings and discount property data. RealtyStore's mission is to empower its customers with the tools, education and analysis required to identify and potentially maximize profits with undervalued real estate. Collected from hundreds of public and private sources, RealtyStore's proprietary database includes over 1 million listings including pre foreclosures, foreclosures, short sales, tax defaults and lease-option and owner financed listings. As the discount real estate listings leader, RealtyStore.com welcomes an average of over 1.3 million unique visitors per month and helps connect home buyers with real estate agents nationwide through the proprietary RealtyStore Pro service.

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Peter Ranck
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