Condo Trends: Was That The Bottom?

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 04 March 2008 16:00

Look around at blogs and news sites around the real estate side of the Internet and you'll see there's a lot of buzz about hitting the bottom in the condo market in various regions of the country.

J.P. Morgan Chase economist James Glassman argues in a new report linked from the Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics blog that "most of the necessary decline in home prices has already occurred. 'Given the present trends in income and house prices, real estate excesses of the past five years will have vanished by spring 2008'" he says.

Matt Moroney, executive director of the Metropolitan Builders Association in Milwaukee, says, "We're cautiously optimistic that we've hit the bottom," quoted in the Small Business Times.

Meanwhile, in condo heaven, the state of Florida, the Sunshine State's "best known economist Hank Fishkind is quoted on HeraldTribune.com, saying the Sarasota-Manatee residential property market bottomed out …" last fall.

Kiplinger.com, the site for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine says "housing prices nationally will bottom out in 2008," though the editors there see the recovery to move slowly into 2009.

So when should buyers jump in the water? Market watchers say, "now" before it heats up again. Lower prices mean sellers are more willing to throw money at buyers to get them off the fence and into a contract for their homes. Once the prices begin upward, the buyer's opportunity for wheeling and dealing is over.

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