Researching a story in the latest issue of the magazine on Great Places to Retire at Bargain Prices I was surprised by some of the steeps discounts that homes were selling for. Nationally, home price stats don’t seem near as grim. The latest numbers from Dataquick for Southern California, for example, show a 4% decline to $462,000 in September. Out in the real world, however, you can find much steeper discounts.
Here’s a few examples:
A Miami Beach condo, listed in June at $890,000, sells in mid-October for $765,000—furnished. New construction in Bend, Oregon, listed at $579,000 in February. Now, $439,000. A three-bedroom, Mediterranean-style villa in San Diego. Purchased in January, 2006 for $950,000. Now listed at $849,000.
Of course, some Realtors will tell you the market’s not as bad as the headlines suggest. Not Jim Klinge, a broker in Carlsbad, Calif. who runs Web site called a bubbleinfo.com “I’m kind of the anti-Realtor,” he told me. “I think it’s better for everyone to deal with the truth. Let’s quit talking fluff and false statements.” Amen, to that.
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.