Sunday, April 12, 2009

Real Estate: Inventories Dropping

Posted By: Tsu-Han (Ina) Chang
Written By: Stephane Fitch

Stock of homes for sale has declined, but the market hasn't bottomed yet. L.A. home prices could drop another 20%. Why renting is the new buying.

Forbes recently gathered a panel of real estate experts to discuss the housing and mortgage markets. Panelists included Pat Lashinsky, Spencer Rascoff, Peter Slatin, Michael Feder and Donald Trump Jr.

Though inventories are falling, our crew thinks that some major markets still have a long way to fall. The discussion follows.

Forbes: Pat Lashinsky, you see as many if not more real estate listings than any person alive. What's up with inventories? Are there more houses on the market now than a year ago? Fewer? What would you consider a normal level?

Patrick Lashinsky, ZipRealty: We look at the 35 markets we are in, we have actually seen a decline of 14.1% in the number of homes available for sale during the past month vs. 2008. That is a pretty dramatic number. However, the time it takes to sell a home is still at almost nine months, which still makes this a buyers' market. So inventories levels are coming down, but we still have a ways to go to get back to a stabilized market.

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