Home Sales Driven By Price Drops

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Growth in home sales appears to be driven by the willingness of sellers to lower their prices rather than a broad-based increase in demand and buyer confidence, according to an analysis by real estate data and analytics firm Radar Logic Inc. In “Housing is a Buyer’s Market,”the company analyzes price and sales trends in the nation’s 25 largest metro areas. Sales of nondistressed properties increased last year, but that increase was accompanied by a decline in prices — lowering the price spread between distressed and nondistressed sales, the report said. “Insofar as sellers are willing to accept lower offers, housing is currently a buyer’s market,” the report said. “Unfortunately, difficulty in accessing financing and concerns over inventory are preventing buyers from entering the market in force.” Although the National Association of Realtors reported that there was only a 6.1 months’ supply of existing homes for sale in January — the lowest level of inventory since 2006 — that doesn’t take into account vacant homes held off the market, homes securing delinquent mortgages and in the foreclosure process, and homes with underwater mortgages.