It may be that many of them have been purchased by private investors who are holding them for resale, but the bank write downs have been taken and bank balance sheets are mending. Homes held by private investors for resale were...
likely purchased at deeply discounted prices. These owners do not need to sell quickly to turn a nice profit. Many will wait for significantly higher prices.
Apartment vacancy rates are at or near record levels, partly because the $8,000 home tax credit has caused a number of apartment dwellers to buy homes. Also because many families have doubled-up to survive the recession. Most will spread their wings again, concurrent with improvements in the job market.
Recent statements by Pelosi and Obama indicate support for renewal of the $8,000 tax credit. The hint that the credit will be expanded to all buyers is acting as a temporary depressant on the market. An extension of this act is not necessary, but politicians are kin to sharks. Sharks must swim to survive, politicians feel the need to constantly demonstrate that government has the answer to all problems.
Interest in housing normally drops sharply from September to nearly zero around Christmas. Per Google metrics, interest is relatively very strong this October. Last week, mortgage applications jumped 13%. Low mortgage rates have made housing very affordable. Home prices will advance over the next many years and prices will be surprisingly strong, even before the job market recovers!
in reference to: CARPE DIEM: Countrywide/BAC REOs Fall to Febuary 2007 Levels (view on Google Sidewiki)