Real Estate 14 Dec 2006 01:39 pm

Real Estate: Stuck in Neutral

by Sean Hackbarth

House buried under snow

AP Business Writer Mark Jewell has a lengthy article on the housing market in 2007. Rough summary: it’s frozen. With rising interest rates buyers want deals while sellers wish for the days of double-digit growth in the value of their homes. Jewell illustrates this with Antioch, CA’s Donald Anthony. He dropped the price of his 4-bedroom ranch by $80,000 and spent $40,000 on improvements. He still has no buyers and doesn’t have the urge to lower his price any further. forecasts “the first decline for an entire year in U.S. home prices since the Great Depression of the 1930s.” Once hot housing markets on the coasts are seeing the most dramatic effects. In the San Francisco Bay area [via Louis Brown]:

Last month’s sales count was the lowest for any November since 2001, when 6,644 homes sold. Since 1988, November sales have ranged from 5,579 in 1994 to 10,897 in 2004. The average is 7,725.

Ben Jones at The Housing Bubble Blog links a bunch of stories showing the lackluster housing market is negatively affecting mortgage firms. Will this spread to the rest of the economy? Not according to this week’s retail sales numbers.


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