Although the struggling housing market in Florida appears to be improving as reports of rising home values and declining foreclosure filings surface, many experts in the real estate industry are wary that a potential second wave of foreclosures may be looming on the horizon. Because banks have recently hired new real estate lawyers to pick up where the previous ones left off due to unethical conduct, economists fear that lenders may start releasing more houses than the market can currently support.
Hidden Risk of Orlando Foreclosures: Florida Shadow Inventory
Right now, the primary cause of concern in the Florida housing industry is a phenomenon aptly named “shadow inventory.” Essentially, the shadow inventory is a collection of mortgages that have been in default for three or more months that are either on the brink of foreclosure or have already been seized by the bank. If you have defaulted on your mortgage and are facing or in fear of foreclosure, an Orlando foreclosure defense attorney can help you understand the options available to you, whether you want to stay in your home or move on.
Homes that are part of the shadow inventory are not yet listed for sale. They pose a huge threat to the housing industry because it is impossible to predict their exact numbers.
If lenders decide to release all of the foreclosed properties at once, the shadow inventory has the potential to completely destroy the slowly recovering market because the percentage of lender-owned properties for sale would grossly outnumber the amount available for conventional sales. As a result, there would not be enough qualified buyers to reduce the inventory. Additionally, the flood of lender owned foreclosures could devastate the Florida economy by forcing market prices down even further.
Causes of Recent Florida Foreclosures
There are two major categories that struggling mortgage holders fall into:
- Recently unemployed borrowers
- Unqualified borrowers
After experiencing the first wave of foreclosures, lenders have become more selective in regards to approving loan requests — as a result, the number of defaulted loans due to unqualified borrows has dropped significantly. However, the recent scarcity of jobs and layoffs has caused an increase in the number of foreclosures because so many are facing unemployment.
Source: Shadow inventory improves but still threatens housing recovery