While most real estate watchers are keeping their eyes peeled on the big metro areas like Boston, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, folks would be wise to pay attention to second and third tier property markets as well. After all, only 24 million residents, just 10% of the U.S. population, live in the most-populated 10 cities in the country.
One such market is Portland, Me. This article in the Portland Press Herald (free access, but registration is required) features a couple who got caught owning two homes, not because they wanted to, but because they couldn’t sell one due to the slowing real estate market. While the stats of sellers dropping their prices aren’t as dramatic as those in Boston, they’re telling nonetheless.
Perhaps even more interesting is the mini-blog thread that follows the story. I suspect the bursting of the real estate bubble is going to be more like a slow, gradual leak than an actual pop like we saw in the dot com crash of March 2000. What do you think?
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.