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Housing Market Slows As Buyers Get Picky - U S

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/business/economy/17slump.html?ref=business

Before the recession, people simply looked for a house to buy. Later they got squeamish just thinking about buying. Now they are on a quest for perfection at the perfect price.

Exacting buyers are upending the battered real estate market, agents and other experts say, leading to last-minute demands for multiple concessions, bruised feelings on all sides and many more collapsed deals than usual.

It is a reversal of roles from the boom, when competing buyers were sometimes reduced to writing heartfelt letters saying how much they loved the house and how they promised to eternally worship the memory of the previous owners. These days, it is the buyers who are coldly seeking the absolute best deal while the sellers are left in emotional turmoil.

“We see buyers who must have learned their moves from the World Wrestling Federation,” said Glenn Kelman, chief executive of the online broker Redfin. “They think the final smack-down occurs at the inspection, where the seller will be reluctant to refuse any demand because the alternative is putting the house back on the market as damaged goods.”

Everyone expected the housing market to suffer at least a temporary hangover after the government’s $8,000 tax credit expired, but not necessarily this much. Preliminary data from around the country indicates that the housing market began swooning last month immediately after the credit was no longer available. In some places, sales dropped more than 20 percent from May 2009, when the worst of the financial crisis had subsided.

Builders have been affected too. Construction of new homes in May dropped 17.2 percent from April, the Commerce Department said Wednesday, significantly lower than forecast. Permits for future construction dropped 10 percent, suggesting a cruel summer.

Even the lowest home mortgage rates in decades are not doing much to invite deals. The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that applications for loans to buy houses were down by a third compared with last year. Applications are back to the level of the mid-1990s, when the country’s housing market was smaller.

Against such a backdrop of misery, buyers are empowered — and are taking full advantage.

John Porter Simons, a Seattle software engineer, thought he had a couple willing to pay $340,000 for his house. But they asked for $24,000 worth of work, most of which involved waterproofing the basement. “It was totally irrational,” said Mr. Simons. “My basement has never flooded. I live on a hill.”

He made a counteroffer to their offer, and the buyers walked. The house is now under contract to a new set of buyers, who got a cut in price and $2,500 in electrical work thrown in.

Buyers, of course, say they are merely being smart.

Chris Dunn, an economic consultant in Chicago, saw a house he liked last month for $539,000. He offered $500,000, but then his inspector told him that he would eventually have to replace the windows. The sellers were persuaded to kick in $10,000 more to pay for the work.

“We didn’t feel we were being that aggressive,” said Mr. Dunn. “We had the position, ‘If the seller is willing to come down enough, we will buy this home.’ If they weren’t willing, we would have just moved on. In this market, you have a lot of options.”

In some cases, agents say, sellers literally cannot afford to make concessions. Another $10,000 will push them underwater, which means they will have to arrange the sale through the bank.

Another thought is that people are looking for a way out of buying a house they have agreed to and the best way is to start making demands.

Still this won't happen in the UK...

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/business/economy/17slump.html?ref=business

Another thought is that people are looking for a way out of buying a house they have agreed to and the best way is to start making demands.

Still this won't happen in the UK...

It might not happen here. They have built a shed load of big houses, therefore they do have a lot of options. We have been building small flats. And not many of them either.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/business/economy/17slump.html?ref=business

Another thought is that people are looking for a way out of buying a house they have agreed to and the best way is to start making demands.

Still this won't happen in the UK...

In some US states house sellers have a absolute requirement to disclose (and pay to rectify) faults. Nogotiations on this point is perfectly normal.

tim

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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