Even as the economy shows a slow recovery and real estate prices are at the lowest in a decade, is it the right time to buy your new home?
Not now, say experts. Because there are more unsold homes in the market because of what the banks and speculators have done. During the recession, banks took possession of thousands of homes from owners who defaulted on their mortgage loans. The inventory that they have built, along with speculators and investors who are holding to their investments, has now become the so-called shadow inventory. Those that are vacant, but still not in the market. According to one estimate, there is a 12-month inventory of homes that are in the market, and the shadow inventory could be many times of that.
So experts like Barry Ritholtz, who is the author of Bailout Nation, a book on the greedy practices of Wall Street, have cautioned investors against buying homes now.
The problem is people have a real fear of buying an asset that's in free fall. And I think the worst of the housing drop is likely behind us. But by my metrics, we're 10 to 15 percent above fair value, Ritholtz told NPR radio in an interview. So, though there are many homes in the market now, be careful, the prices are still a tad bit expensive than what you ought to pay.