"More than 40,360 properties in Utah have been listed as REOs at some point between October 2007 and April 2012, according to RealtyTrac data. These properties — most of them residential — had a combined total estimated market value at foreclosure of $9.6 billion.
The main effect of REOs is to keep broader home prices depressed, as banks try to sell the backlog of foreclosed properties at a discount to bargain-hunters taking advantage of historically low interest rates. Many in the industry complain these deals are difficult to put together, for a variety of reasons.
Even the best data give government and private-sector officials only a partial glimpse of the problem. There are persistent rumors in the real estate industry — but no conclusive evidence — of a "shadow inventory’’ of REOs that banks purportedly keep off the market to avoid further downward pressure on home prices."--excerpt of an article By TONY SEMERAD The Salt Lake Tribune