Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Phantom Housing Supply

CoreLogic says in their Nov report:

"Markets with less than 10% negative equity share of mortgaged homes, the average months' supply of inventory of sale was about eight months.  In markets with more than a 50% negative equity share of mortgaged homes, the average months' supply was half as much - approximately four months."

They refer to this as the "lock-out effect."  It makes sense and puts the lie to what some respected analysts are calling the good news about declining inventories.  Like so many metrics that used to work when the real estate market actually was a market, this too no longer has value.

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Cinco-X said...

Is the "lock-out effect" the result of houses being unable to be marketed because current owners can't afford to take a check to a closing, or because speculators are buying the distressed properties in bulk and keeping them for income purposes waiting to dribble them onto the market when/if prices begin to rise?

Rob Dawg said...

Short answer, yes.

Longer answer; you cannot sell what you do not control. That goes up and down the lending chain. Owners don't control because they have negative equity. Banks don't control because they don't own the loan. The Funds that own the loans cannot sell because of a bunch of reasons.

Add to that the insane regulatory forbearance that is allowing banks to hold property. Even 10 years ago a bank that carried an asset over a reporting quarter would get a yellow flag and two quarters... they had better have a damn good reason.

The worst possible thing that can happen and is happening is "letting" financial interests get into the asset business. Fox in the henhouse doesn't begin to describe the problem.