A recent report from Standard & Poor's revealed the nation's shadow inventory decreased during the second quarter, which presents a ray of optimism for the country's housing market.Between the first and second quarter of the year, the amount of time it would take banks to purge the shadow inventory declined from 52 months to 47 months. Banks do so by conducting foreclosure sales, mortgage modifications and other measures.In addition, the report discovered the dollar amount of non-agency loans, which are those not backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, fell to $405 billion. This figure is down from $433 billion, recorded in the first quarter.”It's good news that things are starting to slow down and we're getting closer to the end of the problem,” said Diane Westerback, managing director of Global Surveillance Analytics for S&P. “It could mean a gradual recovery for the market.”The Houston real estate market received aid from foreclosure sales during July, as transactions involving distressed properties accounted for 19.6 percent of all home sales. The median price remained the same from June to July, however, settling at $84,000, the Houston Association of Realtors reported.Courtesy of 2M Realty News?