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Signs of Stabilizing Prices, and the Weekend Poll

Trulia reports today that there are signs that prices in the Washington area are starting to stabilize. The metro area is among those that have had a significant decline in the number of for-sale homes with price reductions over the past month. The same is true for Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas and Baltimore.

At the beginning of July, 23 percent of homes on the market in the Washington area have had at least one price reduction, averaging 8 percent. On June 1, according to Trulia, 30 percent of homes on the market had a price reduction, averaging 10 percent.

Nationwide, the online real estate company said 25 percent of homes on the market on July 1 had at least one price reduction, averaging 10.4 percent.

Real Estate Live chat is today at 1 p.m. As always, you're welcome to submit a question or comment early.

Weekend reading: Renae Merle has an update on what's happening with short sales. Hint: There's more happening than there used to be. And Ted Knutson writes about a major quality-of-life topic for apartment-dwellers: In-unit washers and dryers.

The Weekend Poll

This is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  July 10, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Poll , Statistics , The economy , The market , Weekend Poll  
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Next: Balloon Mortgages: A Relic of the Boom Survives?


I can't recall which company it was (though you can probably find it on Bloomberg.... maybe PMI or HSBC), but it recently released a report that said that the DC Metro area has a 92% chance of falling prices. IMO, that decline will be 20-30% by the time the second quarter of 2011 arrives.

Posted by: burkemic99 | July 10, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Following up - PMI. ERET second quarter 2009 report. 91.7% chance of a decline in the Washington Metro area.


Posted by: burkemic99 | July 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

burkemic99: I read that as well. I also read this story from the Post that said basically that high-end homes around here just aren't selling:

My guess is that all the $200k to $350k properties are getting snatched up by first-time buyers seduced by the $8,000 tax credit, but no one is trading up. Eventually the high-end will capitulate and have to lower its prices. This will affect the mid-level on downward in kind of reverse trickledown economics. I am thinking that anyone thinking they got a bargain $300k one-bedroom condo this spring will be kicking themselves in two years when they see they could've gotten a mid-size two to three bedroom rambler for the same price. What’s happening right now is nothing more than the proverbial "dead cat bounce".

Posted by: Rockvegas | July 10, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

burkemic99: Is this the story you were originally alluding to?

Posted by: Rockvegas | July 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Stabilizing huh? That's pretty hilarious.

I have 2 friends that are trying to sell their houses and both had to drop their price by 5-10% and still no interest.

The condo market in the area is still declining in price. Look at your own ads on your site for the Jameson. A few weeks ago, their ads said "new condos from the mid 300's", now they say "new condos from the high 200's."

Trulia comment is just like the people in the government, economists who reported that we hit bottom and continue to do it, only to be 'shocked' that things continue to get worse. For some reason 1 report of good news seems to make them think we're out of the woods and then more bad news. Again, how about we string together 3-6 months of good news before saying we've hit bottom in the economy.

As for these #'s, look at where prices were and look at where they got to. The % decline in the Washington area is no where close to where it needs to be to make housing 'affordable.' My parents home in Bowie was around $150,000 before the boom and then went up to $350K with NO REASON WHAT SO EVER, and is now down to $280K and falling (they never intended to sell but they should have). And the economy is still getting worse. Now you tell me why someone should spend even $200K when nothing changed in Bowie to make their house go up that much?

The majority of people in the USA need to 'wake up' when it comes to home prices. Stop buying things that aren't worth what they are and putting yourselves into a no win situation and locking yourselves into a debt situation that if 1 thing goes wrong, your life can be ruined. Housing in the DC/NOVA area is still far from 'Affordable' and we need prices to come down so people can not only have shelter, but money for other things.

Posted by: cavatellie | July 12, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

One other thing that the government should do is tax anyone who flips a house something like a 95% sales tax.

If you notice, what got us into trouble the last 7 years.

Short sellers on Wall Street and house flippers on main street (along with giving loans to people who could never afford them).

Our country has turned into everything about short term gain vs long term growth and stabilization. We need to make housing about it being a shelter and not about appraising or being an ATM.

We also need to put in tougher broad regulations. Things like a minimum of 15% down payment on a home (if you cant save you can't buy), and that the mortgage itself cannot be more then 35% of your take home income to keep people in homes they can afford realistically along with other debts they have.

Posted by: cavatellie | July 12, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

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