According to a new blog post by CoreLogic's Sam Khater, the number of REO properties nationwide is creeping back upwards. REO properties increased to 430,000 as of the end of March 2014. March's figure reflects an increase of 15 percent from the low point of REO inventory in August 2013, when properties totaled 375,000. The CoreLogic analyst noted that investor demand began to drop off last September, decreasing REO purchases.
The company found that REO properties rose across the nation in 46 states, with Idaho leading from a near doubling of their available inventory as REO. Maryland came in second, which saw a 78 percent increase, followed by Nevada, Oregon, and North Dakota. Khater concludes that while the current level is lower than during the peak of the financial crisis, the increase of REO properties signals a shift to a new phase of the housing market.
According to the Commerce Department and HUD, privately owned housing starts last month were at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.07 million, representing a 13.2 percent jump from March's barely revised pace of 947,000. Unfortunately for the supply-constrained single-family market, most of that spike came in apartment buildings, which were started at a rate of 413,000—a leap up from March.