My house flipped me
He has a better chance
of being governor of Ohio
than you do of selling your house.
And he's down 20 points.
Americans lament too many homes on the range
Property prices have slumped - and realtors say there's more to come
Ashley Seager in Boston
Thursday October 5, 2006
If you want to sell a home in New England these days, you have to offer some pretty fancy incentives. You may redecorate the place, offer to buy new furniture or even crates of fine wine. In the end, though, you may simply have to slash your price.
The United States woke up last week to the first year-on-year nationwide fall in the average price of a house - something that has not happened since 1993.
The trouble is, for those in the country's north-east, prices have been falling since the spring and were down 6.1% in the year to August, according to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, compared to a more modest 1.7% for the US as a whole.
Home sales in the state have slumped by a fifth in the past year, for new and existing houses, single-family homes, apartments and condominiums. Those falls are even worse than elsewhere in the country. "It is really a buyer's market right now, particularly outside Boston. We had someone who wanted $348,000 [£185,000] for an apartment but she had to cut it to $300,000 to sell it," said Tasha Ramnarine of Jacob Realty in Boston. "We are going into the quiet winter months right now but we hope it will all pick up next spring."
A glance at the local newspapers is revealing. Ad after ad carries the tag "price reduction" or "buyer incentives". If you are a buyer these days, you are in the driving seat.
Cuts of $100,000 to $200,000 for houses priced at $1m are commonplace. This is the sellers' nightmare that did not materialise in Britain when the market slowed in 2004 and 2005.
No end in sight
But the downturn in the US is gathering pace. A report last month from Global Insight and National City Corp said that of the country's 317 main metropolitan centres 40% were extremely overvalued and a fifth had already suffered price falls. Prices are still estimated to be up to 25% overvalued.
posted by Steve @ 12:02:00 AM