Waiting to Exhale: How to Be the Expert in Tough Times

 With the bulk of the subprime mortgage resets behind us as of early 2009, it may seem that the only direction to move is straight up toward recovery. Projections through 2012, however, show two more waves of resets on more than $1 trillion in Alt-A and Option ARM mortgages. Many owners of these properties may face foreclosure, as did subprime borrowers. This means the current shadow inventory is expected to remain at record levels. NAR estimates that there are 2.7 million delinquencies (90 days or more), foreclosures and REOs that have yet to reach the market. Absorption of these properties could take several years in some major markets.

It’s in everyone’s best interest—including the banks’—to release shadow properties onto the market in stages. Until the backlog is cleared, however, the housing market will continue to recover slowly. You can expect to see the market conditions you’re seeing today for the next few years. In the meantime, the real estate professionals who will succeed are the ones who are committed to being the experts in the tough times, too.

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