Seattle has more than a year's worth of distressed homes

Posted by Doug Young on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 at 11:11am

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The Seattle area has more than a year's worth of distressed home inventory, but most big metropolitan areas are worse off, according to a new report.

CoreLogic calculates distressed supply by dividing the number of properties that are at least 90 days delinquent on their mortgages by the number of sales. These homes stand a good chance of ending up on the market as foreclosures or short sales -- where a lender accepts less than the home is worth to avoid foreclosure -- further straining the fragile housing market.

"The weak demand for housing is significantly increasing the risk of further price declines in the housing market," CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming said in a news release. "This is being exacerbated by a significant and growing shadow inventory that is likely to persist for some time due to the highly extended time-to-liquidation that servicers are currently experiencing."

King and Snohomish counties had 12.9 months worth of distressed homes in August. That was the 19th-lowest total out of the top 50 U.S. metro areas.

Distressed inventory ranged from 4.2 months in Austin, Texas, to 33.5 in Miami. The markets with the lowest totals largely missed the housing boom and subsequent bust, CoreLogic noted.

Some areas with many distressed homes don't rank high on this measure because they have a lot of sales. Such is the case in Phoenix, which had 13.6 months of distressed inventory, and Las Vegas, 18.8 months.

Washington state had 11.3 months of distressed inventory in August, the 23rd-lowest total among the 46 states with totals available. Distressed inventory ranged from 2.3 months in Alaska to 24.4 in Maryland.

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