The shadow market is coming out of the shadows, and the numbers are staggering. According to a report released yesterday by LPS (Lender Processing Services), “foreclosure inventory levels [stand] at 30 times monthly foreclosure sales volume.” As a result of this massive backlog, real estate analysts expect more downward pressure on U.S. home values as most of these homes are likely to reenter the market as REO properties rather than being sold in another more profitable manner. The statistics on the foreclosure backlog are also staggering, with LPS reporting that the average U.S. loan currently in foreclosure has been delinquent for 537 days, and 30 percent of loans in foreclosure have not made payments in more than two years.
Thanks to slower processing times on foreclosures, it is unlikely that this backlog will disperse any time soon. In fact, although total U.S. loan delinquency has fallen nearly two percentage points over last year and foreclosure starts are down 14 percent from last year, the actual foreclosure rate is up as banks struggle to keep their books in order and intact. With the “non-current inventory” logging in at nearly 7 million, the backlog is likely here to stay.
Many analysts have been predicting that 2011 will be the beginning of a recovery for many sectors of the real estate market, though most agree that the residential market has a long way to go. With news such as this it is hard to see the beginning of a recovery.