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April 28th, 2011 1:30 PM by David W. Welch
The number of available bank owned properties (REO) is below 1,200 as of today. A few months ago there were typically about double that number available at any given time. REO's came on the market and went at about the same pace. In the first few months of this year though, they have sold faster than they have come on the market. Part of this is due to the robo-signing fiasco back in the fall, but there also have been fewer foreclosure filings. So where are the missing REO's, and when will they hit the market? More importantly, will it make a big difference?
I went back to the first quarter of last year to see what the trends in new REO's coming on the market has been. In the first quarter of 2010 there were 4,575 REO's listed for sale in the four county area including: Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties. In the second quarter, usually our busiest quarter of the year, there were 4,879. The third and fourth quarters dropped to 4,314 and 4,066 respectively. The robo-signing late last year did not seem to prevent the banks from putting properties on the market, but did make things a slow to close. Others were pulled off the market and then put back up for sale once matters were cleared up. Then, the first quarter of this year the number of REO's that were listed dropped to 2,941. That is about 1,500 fewer new bank owned listings than last year's quarterly average.
Everybody keeps saying that a lot of new bank owned properties are coming, but we have not seen them yet. From my own personal observations, even if we see 5,000 come on the market this quarter I believe many of them will be absorbed right away. There appears to be significant demand by both investors and home buyers trying to pick up a bargain. While we wait for them to hit the market our overall inventory of homes has plummeted from more than 15,000 at the end of last year to about 11,500. The overall months supply of homes has dipped below five months. We generally consider a six month supply to be a balanced market.
David Welch, Real Estate Optimist