Lenders nationwide are sitting on hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes that they have not resold or listed for sale, according to numerous data source.
“We believe there are in the neighborhood of 600,000 properties nationwide that banks have repossessed but not put on the market,” said Rick Sharga, vice president of RealtyTrac, which compiles nationwide statistics on foreclosures.
“There is a real danger that there is much more (foreclosure) inventory than we are measuring,” said Celia Chen, director of housing economics at Moody’s Economy.com.
In the Bay Area, a Chronicle analysis of data from San Diego’s MDA DataQuick shows that more than one-third of foreclosures are in shadow territory – that is, they are not registering in county records as having been resold.
For the 26 months from January 2007 through February 2009, banks repossessed 51,602 homes and condos in the nine-county Bay Area, according to DataQuick. Yet in the same period, only 30,823 foreclosures were resold, leaving about 20,000 bank repos unaccounted for. [via San Francisco Chronicle]
This article seems to suggest that the very banks that issued the toxic loans are now purposely creating a housing shortage in order to artificially depress foreclosure numbers and in the process drive up the value of their inventory. According to vice president of RealtyTrac, in a normal market, there are 160,000 (foreclosures for sale nationwide) over the course of a year. Right now, there are about 80,000 every month.” That should give you a sense on the severity of the situation.