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The Shadow Inventory Report

Backlog of distressed assets increases in Q3

Jan. 3, 2011

By staff

The U.S. housing recovery was hindered by a growing backlog of distressed real estate during the third quarter. Among major metropolitan areas, the Big Apple had the biggest backlog of distressed assets. But a Florida market was the only area in the country to see a reduction.

That was according to Third-Quarter Shadow Inventory Update: The Timelines To Clear The Backlog Continue To Increase announced Monday by Standard & Poor's Rating Service.

Around $450 billion in distressed assets were outstanding as of Sept. 30, 2010, S&P Managing Director Diane Westerback said in the statement. She estimates that it will take 44 months to clear out the U.S. distressed inventory.

Distressed assets were down from around $460 billion three months earlier, but second-quarter time on the market was only 40 months.

"Given the pace of residential defaults during the housing downturn, the market's inability to quickly absorb the excess volume has created a large 'shadow inventory' of distressed properties," S&P said.

"Shadow inventory" was defined as loans past due at least 90 days, loans in foreclosure and real-estate-owned assets.

"Comparatively, Standard & Poor's estimates that it will take nearly 10 years to clear the inventory in the New York MSA at the current liquidation rate," the New York-based ratings agency wrote. "That is at least twice as long as it will take in any of the other top 20 MSAs and nearly three times the average time to clear for the entire U.S."

But Miami -- located in one of the hardest-hit states -- was the only top-20 metropolitan statistical area to see a decline from the second quarter, S&P said.

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