For the last year, the real estate industry has been talking about shadow inventory and the coming flood of distressed properties. Where are they?
Here’s what’s happening, according to a recent paper by Alan Mallach, a senior fellow the Brookings Institution:
• Some delinquencies have been resolved through loan modifications or people working out the problems on their own.
• Banks are getting better at managing short sales.
• Investors are aggressively buying up properties, sometimes in bulk, directly from the banks or at courthouse auctions so they don’t hit the market.
The likeliest outcome, Mallach predicts, is a steady flow of foreclosures over a long timeframe that will prevent another crash in home prices – but it will probably lead to low or no appreciation in home prices for a while.