Shadow Inventory Falls Over Ten Percent

CoreLogic, a Santa Ana, California-based real estate research firm, said this week that the number of American homes likely to hit the market soon fell in the February to March quarter, citing fewer new delinquent homeowners and a high level of distressed sales. The firm reported the so-called shadow inventory of homes slipped to 1.7 million in the three months ended April 31st, down from 1.9 million in the same period of 2010.

At the current sales pace, the number represents a five months supply, and is 15 percent lower than the peak level reported in January 2010, when the shadow inventory reached 2 million for the first time. Since the housing market collapsed several years ago, it has continued to drag down the overall economy and economists insist a significant recovery will prove elusive until the shadow inventory is back down to healthy levels.

CoreLogic estimates the shadow inventory by calculating the number of homes not currently listed on any of a number of listing services, and are also either owned by banks, in the foreclosure process, or at least 90 days delinquent on mortgage payments.