Home Prices are about to dive again
Feb 18, 2010
In spite of propaganda that tries to put a happy face on the mortgage crisis and the decline in the price of houses, it may not yet be the opportune time to buy a house in America. It appears that most foreclosed houses are not yet on the market, and when they do go on the market, it will cause quite a glut of houses with too few buyers.
This would mean that housing prices are still going to drop further in the next few years, in spite of government programs that try to prop up the prices.
Heartened by the recent rise in home prices? Don't get too comfortable. Standard & Poor's, the credit-rating agency that tells investors what mortgage-backed securities are worth, reports that the increase was just an illusion. It predicts the nation is about to see a deluge of new foreclosures that will drive real estate values back down.
Blame the "shadow inventory" – nearly 1.8 million homes that are on the road to foreclosure but for all kinds of reasons haven't gotten there yet.
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S&P's chilling conclusion: "Overall, it is our opinion that recent positive housing reports should not be construed as a sign that the distress in the residential housing market is abating, but rather should be attributed to the temporarily limited supply of homes on the market."
The bottom line: just counting the homeowners who are currently behind on their mortgages, along with the existing number of foreclosures for sale, at the current pace it will take nearly three years to sell all the foreclosures out there. . . .
The shadow inventory is equal to half the size of the entire market of homes for sale. When it starts getting listed, expect home prices in areas with lots of foreclosures to plummet. Yes, more.