Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
A spec home is offered for sale in a housing development on March 16, 2011 in Wauconda, Illinois.
As it turns out, any housing market recovery that’s been predicted is still a long way off, according to data out this week from the National Association of Realtors. They found that February broke a three month stretch of gains, plummeting sales of pre-owned U.S. homes by 9.6 percent. That was the single largest decline since July, with prices near a nine-year low, worse than even the most pessimistic economists’ predictions. Winter weather, tight credit conditions and lagging home appraisals all had a hand in the plunge. Economists say it’s difficult to predict what will happen from here on when you add a glut of homes on the market, fed by a flood of foreclosures, and rising crude oil prices that have forced many to scale-back spending. How do you fit into the housing market? Are you looking to sell but waiting for your home to regain its pre-plunge value or are you in threat of foreclosure? Are you looking to buy but waiting for the market to level out? Patt fields your housing questions and gets a better picture of the landscape out there.
Thomas Davidoff, assistant professor in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia