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Shadow Housing Inventory: Two Houses for Every One for Sale

The scary part here is this estimate of market overhang refers only to foreclosed and distressed property. There is another category of hidden inventory, people who would like to sell but aren’t even listing their houses. These would include people who want to relocate, aging individuals who’d like to downsize and had hoped to be able to liberate some equity. More detail from HousingWire: Foreclosure filings decreased 3% in June after another 3% drop in April. It’s the third straight month of declines. Foreclosure filings were down 7% from June 2009. Despite the recent downward swing, June marked the 16th straight month of more than 300,000 filings. For the second quarter of 2010, foreclosures dropped 4% from Q110 and remained 1% above Q209. As default and auction notices fell, REOs increased 5% from the last quarter and 38% from Q209. It’s the most REOs measured in a quarter since RealtyTrac began publishing the reports in January 2005. “The second quarter was a tale of two trends,” Saccacio said. “The pace of properties entering foreclosure slowed as lenders pre-empted or delayed foreclosure proceedings on delinquent properties with more aggressive short sale and loan modification initiatives. Meanwhile the pace of properties completing the foreclosure process through bank repossession quickened as lenders cleared out a backlog of distressed inventory delayed by foreclosure prevention efforts in 2009.”

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