More than half of all bank-owned homes in the Charlotte area are still occupied by their former owners, suggesting a “shadow inventory” of properties that might soon be up for sale, according to a report released Wednesday.
The report by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows roughly 54 percent of 2,328 bank-owned homes in the Charlotte, Gastonia and Concord area have their previous owners still living in them. That’s above the national rate of 47 percent.
The rate in Mecklenburg County is 57 percent.
RealtyTrac says such real estate-owned properties are known as “vampire REOs.” In a report Wednesday, Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president, said those homes often don’t appear to be foreclosed-upon properties from the outside.
But “beneath the surface they represent a shadow inventory that is becoming more imminent as rising home prices motivate banks to sell off these homes to try to recoup their losses on soured loans,” he wrote.
Such properties are remaining, for now, off the market at a time when there’s low inventory of homes for sale in the Charlotte-area housing market.
According to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association, which tracks existing-home sales activity, the amount of homes up for sale in August was at 5.4 months of supply. A year ago, supply equaled 7.6 months, above the six months generally considered market equilibrium.
Charlotte-area real estate brokers say the seller’s market and low inventory are resulting in bidding wars for some properties, further boosting home prices in the region. Home prices in Charlotte and nationally have been on the rise after falling during the housing-bubble burst.
Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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