Despite the incoherent rants of the National Association of Realtors, the spring selling season has largely go on without so much as peep from buyer’s camp.
By all accounts, they’re full.
Sales across the boards continue to decline, while inventories everywhere are going up in a season in which they ordinarily shrink. In short, it has been something of a silent spring.
Not even new lower rates can move the markets these days, as price declines make buying a house risky in ways that most folks never would have imagined only a year ago.
Instead, the housing piggy bank has smashed to bits and it can’t possibly be put together again–no matter how hard some may try.
The final blow now has come in buyer psychology. A majority now say they won’t be buying a home anytime soon.
Here’s the story from AP.
It is by Alan Fram entitled: AP Poll: More avoid buying homes.
"A growing majority say they won’t buy a home anytime soon, the latest sign of increasing pessimism about the nation’s housing crisis, a poll showed Monday.
In a vivid sketch of how the sputtering real estate market is causing distress throughout the country, the Associated Press-AOL Money & Finance poll found that more than a quarter of homeowners worry their home will lose value over the next two years. Fully one in seven mortgage holders fear they won’t be able to make their monthly payments on time over the next six months.
"This is a great time to buy, but not necessarily to sell," said Robert Jackson, who lives in a two-bedroom house in Ferguson, Mo., with his wife and four young children. He said he would love to purchase a larger home, but can’t because even if he found a buyer, he would probably lose thousands on his house, which he bought less than two years ago.
"We’re just going to have to slap a Band-Aid on it and stay here until the market gets a little bit better," Jackson, 30, said in a follow-up interview.
Jackson is not alone. Sixty percent said they definitely won’t buy a home in the next two years, up from 53 percent who said so in an AP-AOL poll in September 2006. At the same time, just 11 percent are certain or very likely to buy soon, down from 15 percent two years ago.
The poll also found:
- The biggest worriers are those expecting to buy soon. Of that group 43 percent frets that their home’s value will drop in the next two years, compared with 25 percent of those not expecting to buy shortly.
- Fifty-nine percent think now is a good time to buy.
- Half think this is a very tough time for first-time buyers, an increase from two years ago. Nearly two-thirds think it’s harder for first-home buyers than it was five years ago.
The public anxiety is in reaction to an economy that is veering toward recession and losing jobs even as the housing market sputters badly. Foreclosures have soared to record highs, mortgage rates have increased, sales of existing and new homes have fallen and home values have dropped."
The bottom in housing is nowhere in sight.