Seller’s Pessimism

This housing slump is really taking a toll…seller optimism seems to be shaky, leading to huge price cuts. 8.2 percent is a lot of money for a seller to have to absorb to unload their home!

The average price in Westport, Connecticut, home of chief executive officers Herbert Allison of TIAA-CREF and Jeffrey Kindler of Pfizer Inc., and actor Paul Newman, fell 8.2 percent to $1.56 million in the first four months of 2007 from the same period last year, according to multiple listing service data. In Chappaqua, New York, where Bill and Hillary Clinton live, properties sit on the market an average of seven months before they sell, up from five months a year ago.

Wealth and excellent credit have until now spared bedroom communities in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York’s Westchester County from declines in home prices. Now the tightening of credit in response to rising subprime defaults has disrupted the real estate food chain, bringing the national housing slump to Manhattan’s doorstep. Prices fell as much as 18.8 percent this year in 15 of the 24 areas in which data was collected.

Update: Saw this in my old hometown paper and thought it was interesting. Bank of America is offering “no-fee” mortgages to buyers, cutting 3-5% off the cost of buying. They claim their interest rates remain competitive…I’m wondering how much of this is a response to the down market and business they’re losing.

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