The industry’s shadow inventory of homes with mortgages 90 or more days delinquent, in foreclosure, or held as REO by mortgage servicers but not currently listed on multiple listing services (MLSs)—also known as pending supply—stood at 1.7 million as of October 2013, according to CoreLogic.

The supply of homes hidden in the shadows carries a value of $256 billion and is at its lowest level since August 2008, the company reports.

Turn back the calendar 12 months, and those numbers were significantly higher. In October 2012, there were 2.1 million homes in shadow inventory with a value of $348 billion. The asset count of shadow inventory homes declined 24 percent, while the dollar amount attached to the industry’s hidden inventory dropped 26.4 percent in one year’s time.

“The shadow inventory continues to decline,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, “decreasing at an average monthly rate of 46,000 units over the last year.”

According to Fleming, a healthy market hides around 650,000 housing units in its shadows. “There is more to be done, but the trend is in the right direction,” he said.