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Foreclosure inventory drops, housing market heads toward normal

Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 10:51:18 AM

A return to normal could be a tricky proposition in today's housing market, as trends, government impasses and fluctuating finances all seem to get in the way of buying and selling real estate.

However, positive signs for both residential financing and the U.S. housing market do exist. The number of foreclosed properties in the country is down, another indicator that statistics are leaning toward pre-bubble figures.

In total, the U.S. foreclosure inventory has decreased 33 percent in August from the same time a year ago, according to CoreLogic. Overall, there were 48,000 completed foreclosures for the month, compared to the 72,000 for August 2012.

"Over the past year, the value of the U.S. shadow inventory dropped by $87 billion - a sign of increased normalcy in the housing market," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "With a year-over-year decrease of 22 percent in July, the shadow inventory has now declined steadily for 10 consecutive months."

In addition, fewer foreclosures means that homeowners - not banks - are selling to other people, The Wall Street Journal noted. That is more like normal for the housing market. While the total number of foreclosures is high, it is still trending back toward typical levels.

Ideally, affordable residential financing will help keep the positive news coming for the housing market as a whole.