Article 43


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Are We Looking At Another Shadow Inventory?

image: homelessness truth and fiction

[During the Great Recession], lenders nationwide are sitting on hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes that they have not resold or listed for sale, according to numerous data sources. And foreclosures, which banks unload at fire-sale prices, are a major factor driving home values down.

“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. “California probably represents 80,000 of those homes. It could be disastrous if the banks suddenly flooded the market with those distressed properties. You’d have further depreciation and carnage.”
- Shadow Inventory, 2009

Even in the face of rising mortgage rates and stagnating construction numbers, the housing market is still scorching hot. Because of this, it may be difficult to believe that more than 16 million homes across the U.S. are sitting vacant.

But this doesn’t mean millions of abandoned and dilapidated homes are withering away in the suburbs. Vacant homes can be unoccupied for many reasons beyond being uninhabitable. For example, a house can be vacant because it’s still on the market to be sold or rented or its a vacation home not currently in use.
- LendingTree Home Vacancy Study, March 2022

It’s hard for me to see it, when someone else owns it and I am homeless with nothing.
- Foreclosure victim

More than 1.6 million homes in Florida sit vacant; highest in U.S., study says

By Justin Matthews
FOX 35 News Orlando
March 30, 2022

A new study found that over 16 million homes are sitting empty across the United States—and Florida has more of those vacant houses than any other state.

The STUDY BY LENDING TREE says nearly 1.7 million homes in the Sunshine State are vacant, even outpacing larger states like California and Texas.

Researchers used the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the states with the highest number of vacant homes:

1. Florida: 1,680,844

2. California: 1,248,161

3. Texas: 1,216,084

4. New York: 955,437

5. Michigan: 631,361

However, when it comes to the vacancy rate, or a state’s share of unoccupied homes, Florida comes in at No. 6:

1. Vermont (22.86%)

2. Maine (22.68%)

3. Alaska (20.51%)

4. West Virginia (18.12%)

5. Alabama (17.69%)

6. Florida (17.13%)

7. New Hampshire (16.74%)

8. Mississippi (16.26%)

9. Louisiana (16.21%)

10. Wyoming (15.88%)

Researchers noted that the national average vacancy rate is 11.66%.

So why are home prices still so high?

If Florida has one of the hottest housing markets in the country, why are there so many vacant homes here? The study’s authors noted that other factors are at play when it comes to real estate.

“High vacancy rates and high home prices can suggest that an area has unique characteristics, such as being a vacation hot spot or targeted by investors,” researchers wrote - an apt description of the Florida housing market.

For other areas of the country, they note that low vacancy rates and high housing prices could suggest a highly competitive market, which would make it tougher for lower-income families to find a home to buy.

Locally, the housing market has shown no signs of slowing down. Tampa made the number three spot for U.S. cities people are moving to, according to a recent study by the Seattle-based real estate brokerage firm Redfin.

Redfin’s study ranks Miami at number one, followed by Phoenix, Tampa, Sacramento, and Las Vegas to round out the top five.

This is having a significant impact on Tampa Bays housing market with Tampa forecasted to be the hottest housing market in the country in 2022, according to Zillow.

Last month, an analysis by Zillow found that housing inventory in the region is down 46% from pre-pandemic levels.


Posted by Elvis on 03/31/22 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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