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Housing: The Worrisome Rise in Discounted Listings

September 16, 2010  |  by John Heithaus

The number of home-sellers who’ve abandoned their original asking prices keeps ticking up, reports Forbes.

26% of the homes for sale in the U.S. are being offered with cut-rate asking prices. That’s up from 24% in July and 20% in March, when hopes were highest that the housing correction was over and the economy was on the rebound. The market has weakened considerably since the U.S. government’s first-time homebuyers tax credit expired on April 30.

The news isn’t all bad. The prevalence of discounted listings is really no worse than it was in Sept. 2009, when that generous government tax credit for new buyers was readily available. So maybe the fact that the portion of home-sellers slashing prices isn’t any higher than 26% is a gilt lining.

It’s not well established that the presence of a greater percentage of discounted homes is a harbinger of lower housing values ahead. Maybe sellers are just struggling to come to grips with how they should price their homes in a market where homes are trading hands at a fraction of the pace they were in 2006.

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