Where are all the bargains, anyway? I get asked that question a lot, usually by my buyers who are looking for a deal — and who wouldn’t be? Everyone wants to pay less for their house, and if there’s a bargain out there believe me I’ll find it for you. But the opportunities these days are precious and few, and when they do pop up a bidding war is the frequent result. Bye-bye bargain.

So what happened? Where’s the “shadow inventory” of foreclosed homes that banks were supposedly sitting on, just waiting for the right time to flood the market? The answer varies by region, but here in LA County, thousands of foreclosed properties have already been packaged by banks and quietly sold off to institutional investors. Read this informative article by the Wall Street Journal’s Nick Timiraos. He talks about the downward-shifting ratio of the “distressed share,” ie. the percentage of bank-owned or bank-involved properties like foreclosures and short sales. The smaller that number gets, the healthier the market. But bargains, it seems, will only get harder to find.

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Photo of an unfinished housing development courtesy of Boston.com and Google Earth

This entry was posted in: Seen