Tuesday, September 19, 2006

David Lereah: The Boom Ended A Year Ago

“The housing boom ended more than a year ago, but sellers are having a tough time accepting that fact, says David Lereah, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. The result has been tumbling sales as buyers stay on the sidelines.”
“The expansion that began in November 1991, when mortgage rates fell into single digits, became a boom following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when trillions of dollars left the stock market looking for a safe haven in real estate, Lereah said.”

“This correction is different from any others because it wasn’t triggered by a recession, high financing costs or job losses. With unemployment below 5 percent, mortgage rates still below 7 percent and a growing economy, ‘all you need is a price correction, a price adjustment, to bring the market back,’ Lereah told the crowd.”

“The transition to lower prices is already under way nationwide, Lereah said, and will result in a more balanced market than the one that has been dominated by sellers. He said the Capital Region experienced ‘a moderate boom’ without the extreme price run-ups or overbuilding seen in parts of California and Florida. As a result, ‘you don’t need as much of a price correction,’ he said.”

“Lereah predicted prices will drop nationally over the next six months, and that each percentage point drop ‘will bring thousands and thousands of buyers back into the marketplace.’” (Times Union)


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