The Miami Herald reports that official numbers indicate that there are 3.5 million homes for sale nationwide, but that number increases exponentially when looked at houses that are lurking in foreclosure court or being used by customers who are behind in their payments or not paying at all.
This has led to the prediction that the real estate market will take more time than expected to recover from the economy downturn that has left our country in a perilous state. What does this mean for homeowners who are stuck in foreclosure in Miami?
Banks are struggling to process the millions of foreclosures on the market and at the same time deal with the millions of other loans they have outstanding. And they are being confronted by many Miami foreclosure defense lawyers who are calling them on their unethical practices of using fake documents and paperwork signed by people who have no knowledge of a person's situation.
While some counties are worse than others, Miami-Dade County has about four years' worth of inventory on the market, according to The Herald. South Florida has about 200,000 houses either heading for foreclosure or already owned by banks.
Housing prices have started to show signs of improvement, but the article suggests that with the secondary market of houses looming, prices will likely plummet when another round of foreclosures hits.
The Herald reports that while the official number of homes on the market in this country is about 3.5 million, the 'shadow' inventory would boost that number to 7.5 million. A healthy housing market has about 2.4 million homes -- or a six month supply.
It will take several more years for houses in foreclosure or on the cusp of foreclosure to work through that process, which will stall the economic recovery. The article states that banks have held many homes not for sale after taking them back from foreclosure in order to try to stabilize the fragile market.
For homeowners who are sinking a good chunk of their monthly budget into a house they don't intend to stay in for 30 years, this means that it may be smart to consider a strategic default or short sale or some other strategy that will get you out of a sinking ship. For those who are having financial difficulties and making a monthly mortgage payment on an upside down mortgage, this may also be a consideration.
But for those who want to stay in their home for the long haul, they must fight back against the banks. Financial institutions will use tactics to try to strip away a person's home, even if it means the bank is going to sit on it for years. Don't let lenders throw you to the curb if you really want to keep your house.
In all cases, your best defense is an aggressive offense.