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Report Sees Signs of More Stable Housing Market

The latest signs are contained in a report from a real estate website, which follows the prices of homes currently on the market. It finds that 20% of home sellers have slashed the price of their homes in April, compared with 27% who did so in the same period a year ago.
Real estate sources say, with such a dramatic drop in home price reductions over the past year, we’re beginning to see early signs of stabilization in the housing market on a national level, as well as locally in certain markets.

In April 2009, sources began tracking price reductions, both nationally and for the 15 major U.S. cities. Of the original 15 cities, those hit earliest and hardest have experienced huge decreases in price reductions compared with the previous year, including Las Vegas (54%), San Diego (52%) and San Francisco (45%).

In addition to seeing fewer homes reduced in price, the current report shows several cities have seen significant decreases in the percentage amount slashed from the original listing price compared with the previous year. New York and San Francisco both saw discounts on home prices drop by more than 30% compared with April 2009.

Despite the news, few are calling this a real estate bottom, as two circumstances cloud the future. First, the homebuyer tax credit expired last month, making it less certain the same number of buyers will be in play. The end of the tax credit removes from $6,500 to $8,000 from the buyer’s side of the settlement sheet, meaning they can afford less house.

Second, foreclosures are not ending, but actually increasing. The government’s loan modification program, begun a year ago, has yielded less than stellar results and now many lenders have ended “trial” modifications and begun foreclosure proceedings.
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