Denver "shadow inventory"; Think not!

Real Estate Agent with Resident Realty


There has been much discussion regarding “shadow inventory” in general and regards to the Denver Colorado Metro Area. This has the tendency of causing buyers to hesitate in purchasing homes when this shadow of doubt is present. defines shadow inventory as follows:

“A term that refers to real estate properties that are either in foreclosure and have not yet been sold or homes that owners are delaying putting on the market until prices improve…”

While there are areas in the country where there is a great number of shadow inventory,
Denver is not one of them.

  • The following information is a comparison and ranking of the Denver/Aurora areas in relation to the 30 largest cities.
  • Percentage of prime mortgages 90 + days late. Denver/Aurora, 3.5%, the second lowest of the 30 cities. (National average is 5.9%)
  • Percentage of subprime mortgages 90 + days late. Denver/Aurora 23.8%, the fourth lowest of the 30 cites. (National average is 30.7%) (1)

There are fewer underwater loans in the Denver/Aurora market.

In addition Denver/Aurora is tops in the 30 cities in 3 year equity gain average at + $29,900 compared to the national average of - $18,400. (2)

 In summary, it is my belief that the facts strongly indicate that shadow inventory is not a problem in the Denver/Aurora market

  • Better quality loans to start with: Denver has a smaller percentage of sub-prime mortgages than the US average.
  • Fewer delinquent loans: Denver prime mortgage delinquency rate (3.5%) is much less than the US average (5.9%) The subprime loans are similarly performing better (24% vs. 31%).
  • Fewer defaults. Denver’s subprime default rate (7.4%) is about half of the US average (13.9%). Denver’s prime mortgage default rate (1.2%) is less than half of the US average (2.7%).  (3)

Denver’s default rate is lower than average for several reasons:

  • Denver’s average sales price has been stable to slightly increasing, while the US average home price has declined.
  • Since owners here have more equity, they are much less likely to need to default.
  • Average Denver three year equity gain: +29,900 vs. -$18,400 in the US.
  •  Average Denver seven year equity gain: -$6,400 vs. -$36,600 in the US. (4)

Denver cleaned up it’s REO problem before other cities:

  • Denver didn’t have the excessive run-up in prices that other markets had.
  • Denver was one of the first states to enter the recession.
  • We led the country in foreclosures for well over a year.
  • REO is not a judicial process as it is in many states; so it was fast and relatively easierto fix the problem here than in California or New York. (5)

Good news for the market. Inventory is down, average prices are up, sales volume is up. (6)

Buyers, what are you waiting for?


Roy Johnson

Real Estate Broker, working with buyers and sellers.

Your Castle Real Estate


(1) Lon Welsh, Your Castle Real Estate, NAR, Core Logic, MLS data.

(2)  Lon Welsh, Your Castle Real Estate, NAR.

(3)  Your Castle Real Estate, First American CoreLogic, LoanPerformance data, 12/31/11

(4) Your Castle Real Estate, NAR, 12/31/2011

(5)  Lon Welsh, Your Castle Real Estate.

(6)  Denver Real Estate Trends 1Q 2012, Your Castle Real Estate






Comments (1)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Roy - Thank you for sharing detailed quality information on Denver "shadow inventory"; think not.

May 09, 2012 07:39 AM