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Monday, September 26, 2011

Home-buying season the worst in at least 50 years

The home-buying season was a bust.
March through August are typically the peak buying months. But this time, Americans bought fewer new homes in that stretch than in any other six-month period since record-keeping began a half-century ago.
And sales of previously occupied homes didn't fare much better. They nearly matched 2009's total for the peak buying months. And that was the worst since 1997.
Combined, total sales this spring and summer were the weakest on records dating to 1963. The figures underscore how badly the housing market is faring and suggest that a recovery is years away.
And it's going be a rough couple of years
Nationally, prices are still falling. Prices for previously occupied homes have sunk more than 5 percent over the past year to a median of $168,300. New-home prices have fallen even further, by 7.7 percent, to $209,100.
That suggests builders and Realtors are slashing prices to compete with low-priced foreclosures and short sales. Short sales occur when lenders allow homes to be sold for less than what's owed on the mortgage.
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