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Amidst Rising Inventory, a Considerable Shadow Remains

by Shilpi Paul

Amidst Rising Inventory, a Considerable Shadow Remains: Figure 1

In their mid-year check on the state of the housing market, Trulia wonders how the sizable shadow inventory will impact the recovering market.

Inventory as a whole is growing, noted Trulia: after hitting a 12-year low in early 2013, inventory has now been increasing for five straight months.However, warns Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, we should be wary of a potential shadow inventory of vacant homes that are being held off the market. Not to be confused with the shadow inventory of foreclosures that are trickling back into new owners’ hands, these are properties that are vacant for unknown reasons.

From Trulia:

The “shadow inventory” – homes in delinquency or foreclosure that will eventually come onto the market – keeps shrinking, putting to rest earlier fears of a coming flood of distressed homes for sale. But Census data released this morning show that a different shadow inventory may nonetheless be looming: the 2013 Q2 vacancy survey shows that 5.6% of all housing units are vacant and “held off market,” up from 5.1% in 2009 and down just slightly from the all-time high in 2012. Even though the inventory of homes for sale or rent is shrinking, this shadow inventory of homes held off market is large – but perhaps only until their owners decide prices have risen enough to unload these units.

DC has a considerable number of vacant homes with mysterious (or non-existent) ownership. How does the absence of these homes impact the housing market in the region?

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See other articles related to: vacant houses, vacant buildings, trulia, shadow inventory

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/amidst_rising_inventory_a_considerable_shadow_inventory_remains/7391

1 Comment

  1. me said at 4:18 pm on Wednesday July 31, 2013:
    There's shadow inventory in my 4 unit building. The basement apartment has been unoccupied for the last 3 years (builder owned). I know they tried to sell it back in 2009 and 2010, but no biters (in my opinion it was overpriced). I've been seeing activity in there - handyman and cleaners fixing up the place, painting, etc. I imagine they'll be putting the unit on the market soon.

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