You can now search pre-market inventory on Zillow

Last week the real estate search website, Zillow, added new functionality that enables users to search for, and find information on, 1.2 million pre-foreclosure and foreclosed properties. This is a free service from Zillow, and according to Zillow’s press release:

These homes are not yet listed for sale and can’t be found on any Multiple Listing Service (MLS), nor are they freely available on other real estate sites. For the first time, home shoppers are able to see the entire scope of housing inventory in their area, both pre-market and for-sale, side by side.

It’s that last sentence that I believe will be of particular interest to many readers of this blog. How many times has the question of “how much shadow inventory exists?” been asked and speculated upon?

Well, now with Zillow’s new pre-market inventory search feature, we have a tool at out disposal that provides additional data for our analysis. Again, from the Zillow press release:

Zillow’s introduction of pre-market inventory gives buyers a leg up by enabling them to see not only homes that are currently listed for sale, but homes that will soon be listed for sale.

Additionally, similiar to it’s Zestimate, Zillow will provide an estimate of the sale price of the home if sold as a foreclosure.

So, what is the current pre-market inventory for Reno and Sparks according to Zillow?

Area Foreclosed1 Pre-Foreclosure2 Total
Reno, Nev. 495 290 785
Sparks, Nev. 96 215 311
Total 591 505 1,096

1 Zillow defines “Foreclosed” as: These properties are owned by a bank or a lender who took ownership through foreclosure proceedings. They may soon be listed for sale.
2 Zillow defines “Pre-Foreclosure Homes” as: These properties are currently in default (i.e., the borrower has not made the required mortgage payments) and are likely to be sold at a foreclosure auction.

According to Zillow, the number of homes comprising what Zillow refers to as “pre-market inventory” in the Reno and Sparks market, currently stands at 1,096 properties.

To put that number into perspective with the local market’s currently listed inventory, performing a search on all available house and condo listings in MLS Area 100 (All Reno/Sparks) yields 846 properties for sale. Last month (September) 543 houses and condos, listed on the MLS, sold in Reno and Sparks.

Regular readers of this blog know that the local market’s inventory level has been at less than a two-month’s supply for most of this year – placing the area’s housing market into what is described as a “Seller’s Market”. If all of the “pre-market inventory”, as indicated by Zillow, were to enter the market today, that would bring our total available for-sale inventory to 1,942 properties. Given the current rate of sales (over 500 units a month), this new total would approximate a four-month-supply of inventory – thereby placing the local housing market closer to a “Balanced Market”.


About Guy Johnson

I am a licensed Nevada REALTOR® (lic.# S.0075262.LLC) living and working in fabulous Reno, Nevada. I cover Reno, Sparks, Incline Village, Carson City, and beyond. Give me a call at 775-722-4011 and I will be happy to assist you with your real estate needs. I'm your Guy!
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5 Responses to You can now search pre-market inventory on Zillow

  1. Avatar rental invester says:

    Wow. There is not really much of a shadow inventory after all…I would have guessed quite a bit higher…

  2. Avatar rental invester says:

    Also I wonder if this new data on zillow is gonna kill our zestimates.

  3. Avatar lurker says:

    rental invester [sic],
    I firmly believe that this is a strong seller’s market below $200k.

    That said, the term “shadow inventory” also includes houses where payments are not current, but formal default procedings haven’t begun. Even more broadly, it could include underwater homeowners who would gladly sell their houses if they could get a higher price and get out from under their debt burden.

    Shadow inventory isn’t just houses in foreclosure or pre-foreclosure.

  4. Avatar Jason says:

    My question is what can people do with this information, especially on the shadow properties? We all know that banks are withholding some properties trying to push the price of homes up but unless a person knows about a specific house they know is empty but not listed there’s nothing they can do about it.

  5. Avatar MikeZ says:

    Very handy. Thanks!

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