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Bloomberg Customers measures the 'shadow inventory' of unsold homes

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 19, 2009

Stan Humphries.jpg
A new survey from confirms what I’ve been saying for months: There is a huge amount of “shadow inventory” in the housing market. Except the shadow is even bigger than I imagined. Here’s how Zillow’s vp for data and analytics, Stan Humphries, puts it in a blog item today:

Almost one-third of homeowners (31 percent) said they would be at least somewhat likely to put their homes on the market in the next 12 months if they saw signs of a recovering real estate market …. We here at Zillow expect to see a long, drawn-out bottom, with any upward bumps in value tempered by new inventory coming into the market.

Reader Comments


May 23, 2009 9:03 PM

Hopefully this 'shadow' inventory will helpful prices to finally get back down to reasonable levels. I've been using It gives an estimate of what home prices should be if there were no bubble. Here in Boston, we're still 20-30% over priced. As a first time buyer, there's no way I'm getting in at these levels.


June 1, 2009 11:13 PM

I hope this new website I made helps reduce the amount of shadow inventory, otherwise it's just a hobby for me.

Hell is on Earth not in the Heavens

June 2, 2009 5:57 AM

How markets and folk keep kidding themselves, not realising how screwed the mess is; and considering the prolonged supply of homes and their depressed values, how the hell is the consumer gonna spend and revive the economy???

Ed Nolan

November 8, 2009 4:17 PM

I purchased and am hoping one day all the banks will advertise their homes on the site!

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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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