That's the approximate number of homes that a recent MSN Money article states are owned by the US Government through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). So, yes, US Taxpayers, we collectively own these homes. The trick is, how do we sell them without further tanking the already weak housing market that exists in many states already.
The federal government even went so far as to ask the general public to submit ideas on how to clear this backlog, but the date has now passed for submission and we will be forced to wait for some date into the future to hear what brilliant ideas were submitted that our elected officials either hadn't thought of themselves or will propose as the their own "new and original" ideas! Good luck with that one!
This number, 248,000, is actually down from a record high of 295,000 as of December 2010. So at a rate of approximately 50,000 home per 6 months we still have 2.5 more years before we unload the existing inventory of government owned homes. That's if no more homes are added to the inventory.
I know here in my state of Florida, there had been a significant slowing of bank foreclosures over the past 6 months to a year because of the robo-signing fiasco with legal documents which lead to the closing of three major law firms. However, recent news indicates that foreclosure filings have begun to climb again so I expect that the 248,000 number may not be reduced much at all in the near future and my actually climb significantly.
Doesn't sound good for housing prices if you are in a market like Tampa Bay where we have had home prices fall approximately 48% since the market peaked in late 2006.