WSJ, citing Barclays report, pooh-poohs shadow inventory fears

Fears that foreclosure inventory could flood some markets and sink the housing recovery are unfounded, the Wall Street Journal’s Nick Timiraos blogs, citing recent data from Barclays Capital.

Barclays figures that the number of foreclosures held by banks and mortgage investors was down 16 percent at the end of July from the year previous to approximately 309,000, its lowest level since 2007.

Furthermore, the 2.47 million loans considered delinquent (those 90 days behind on payments or in the foreclosure process) are down 21 percent from a year ago to a level last seen at the end of 2008.

Last week loan data aggregator CoreLogic — which defines “shadow inventory” as properties that are seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or in lenders’ REO inventories (but not yet listed for sale on a multiple listing service) — estimated the nation’s shadow inventory stood at 1.9 million homes in July , valued at $293 billion.

That’s a 22 percent drop from a year ago, and down 38 percent from the 2010 peak of 3 million homes, but the picture varies considerably by market, CoreLogic noted.

Source: Wall Street Journal