With so many foreclosures and all the negative news that you hear, it’s refreshing to hear that home inventories are decreasing. But this is making it difficult for home buyers in parts of the country where there are lots of foreclosures to buy. Investors are bidding up prices thousands above the original asking price.
Federal legislation slowing the number of foreclosures is adding to the problem by reducing the number of homes on the market. For instance, in Las Vegas, one of the areas where the bidding problem is greatest, home inventories are down 10 percent since March, according to the Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®.
When a bidding war erupts, the problem is particularly difficult for traditional buyers because investors are usually cash purchasers. They can bid up a property without concern whether the appraisal will prevent them from getting a loan.
Experts say the problem is not unlike the situation at the height of the housing bubble. “This market is about as abnormal as the hypermarket that we came out of a few years ago,” says Jay Butler, director of the Realty Studies program at Arizona State University.