Residential Real Estate: A Buyer’s Market

Plenty of inventory. Distressed sellers. Tight credit.

File this under DUH: If you are in the market for a house, the current real estate environment is on your side.

And buyers are taking full advantage of it:

“Exacting buyers are upending the battered real estate market, agents and other experts say, leading to last-minute demands for multiple concessions, bruised feelings on all sides and many more collapsed deals than usual.

It is a reversal of roles from the boom, when competing buyers were sometimes reduced to writing heartfelt letters saying how much they loved the house and how they promised to eternally worship the memory of the previous owners. These days, it is the buyers who are coldly seeking the absolute best deal while the sellers are left in emotional turmoil . . .

Builders have been affected too. Construction of new homes in May dropped 17.2 percent from April, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, significantly lower than forecast. Permits for future construction dropped 10 percent, suggesting a cruel summer.

Even the lowest home mortgage rates in decades are not doing much to invite deals. The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that applications for loans to buy houses were down by a third compared with last year. Applications are back to the level of the mid-1990s, when the country’s housing market was smaller.”

“Upending?”  No, they are merely taking advantage of the circumstances. Its the reverse of whatsellers were doing during the upswing in the market.

On the down side of the prices, buyers are the ones who have the upper hand — and are taking full advantage. Why this is a surprise to anyone is beyond my understanding . . .

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Source:
Housing Market Slows as Buyers Get Picky
DAVID STREITFELD
NYT, June 16, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/business/economy/17slump.html

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