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(MCT)—It’s called “shadow inventory,” and it could halt or reverse a recovering housing market. That’s why the phrase, which describes homes in some form of distress but not yet on the market, popped up during the Q&A segment of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors sales forecast last week.

It also shows that shadow inventory remain a concern among agents and even homeowners for that matter.

It’s feared that there’s a sea of distressed inventory being suppressed, waiting on improved selling conditions before suddenly swamping the market. That could send home prices and appraisal values into reverse.

Joey Von Nessen, a research economist at University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business, and economist Steve Slifer of Charleston-based NumberNomics, were panelists at the conference.

They said the shadow inventory remains largely unknown, but it could be less than feared, echoing what many experts are saying on the issue.

A recent report by the national real estate analysis firm CoreLogic said the nation’s shadow inventory as of October 2012 fell to 2.3 million units for a seven-month supply. That’s down 12 percent from October 2011.

“We expect a gradual and progressive contraction in the shadow inventory in 2013 as investors continue to snap up foreclosed and (bank-owned) properties and the broader recovery in housing market fundamentals takes hold,” says Anand Nallathambi, the firm’s president and CEO.

CoreLogic released some encouraging information last Friday for The Palmetto State. In December, 3 percent of South Carolina homes were in some stage of foreclosure, down 0.7 percent from a year ago, but the month’s tally was slightly higher than national average of 2.9 percent.

©2013 The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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