Experts say 'shadow inventory shouldn't hurt real estate market - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Experts say 'shadow inventory' shouldn't hurt real estate market

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While house prices jumped 30 percent in the past year, experts don't think shadow inventory - unlisted bank-owned homes - will hurt the market.

"The 30 percent increase is not a surprise. Do I see it sustaining or going higher? I do. I just don't know for how long," said realtor Scott Beaudry with Universal Realty.

The median price of a single family home is now $161,000, about half the median price in 2006.

There are fears shadow inventory could flood the market and burst the latest price bubble, but that's unlikely to happen, according to Dave Tina, president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

"They are going to release those strategically to keep prices as high as they can," he said.

According to Tina, the inventory of multiple-listings homes is so low right now that even if the banks were to release a wave of foreclosed homes, all it would do is make more inventory available for agents to sell. He doesn't think the banks would want to flood the market with the properties they have foreclosed on.

Meanwhile, the number of foreclosed homes that are selling are also down, according to the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies at UNLV.  Figures show that in 2009, more than half the homes sold were foreclosed. Today, the foreclosure rate is 14.1 percent.

Luis Lopez with the Lied Institute told FOX5 that if anything, the banks today are more likely to work with homeowners living in shadow inventory homes.

"Homeowners still have many options before going to foreclosure. They can refinance the house, they can negotiate with the lender," he said.

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