We are definitely seeing a change. Over the past few years, the REO’s (bank-owned properties) listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) have typically been about 10% of the total inventory of stable neighborhoods. Contrary to what we read in the papers about this shadow inventory of distressed properties, we have not really seen it materialize in the better-selling areas of Miami-Dade County. What we are finding is that as the inventory of regular-priced single family homes has declined, so has the inventory of REO’s. Where are they going?
It is our theory that many of these properties are not even making it to the MLS, but are being bought by people who are in the pipeline (such as bankers, appraisers and realtors). Currently, there are 5,280 single family homes for sale in Miami-Dade and of these 304 are REO’s, that’s 5.8%. In the Gables, there are only 277 single family homes for sale and of that 2 are REO’s, that’s 0.7%. For investors and first-time homebuyers who are looking for good deal, you may have missed your opportunity.