If reports like this are any guide [blue italics mine] —
“Sellers Wonder When Housing Market Will Hit Bottom” (News & Observer)
Although Donna Roberts’ Cary house is for sale, she was not among the hundreds of Triangle homeowners who participated in a nationwide open house event over the weekend.
Instead, she used the weekend to scope out the competition, touring homes in her Lochmere neighborhood that are priced similarly to her own.
Roberts’ house has been on the market since late March. Initially listed for $825,000, the house is now at $779,000 after two price reductions and just four showings.
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Fearing further discounts, the neighbors on her cul-de-sac are now upset at her for selling. “It’s tough now,” Roberts said. “But housing prices could go down even further.
“There’s no good time to sell right now, unfortunately.”
After years of assuming the housing market couldn’t get any worse, a growing number of Triangle homeowners and agents are now resigned to the fact that no one seems to know when it will hit bottom.
Last week, a key national housing indicator, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index, showed that housing prices are now at the lowest level in nearly a decade. Such news has only heightened anxiety among homeowners everywhere about where the market is headed.
The Triangle isn’t among the 20 areas included in the index, and it’s generally considered to be one of the healthier markets in the country. But even here, the average price of a single-family home has dropped from $243,900 during the first quarter of 2008 to $229,000 during the same period this year, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show. So far this year, total home sales in this region are near a decade low.
“It’s a great time to buy, but it’s a horrible time to sell,” said Graham Smith, 39, who was touring homes Sunday in North Raleigh. “You’re afraid of losing your shirt on your home.”
Smith, along with his wife and two daughters, was looking at homes for his sister, who is relocating to Raleigh from Pennsylvania.
The Smiths, who own a home in North Raleigh, eventually want to move to a house with a larger yard. But they’ve watched nervously as the house next door has sat on the market since January drawing little interest.
“We’ll ride it out for a while,” he said. “We’re scared.” —
…which means there’s only five more years of pain to go!