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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Local market avoids major fall via Crain's Cleveland Article by D. Prizinsky

Home prices dip but area sidesteps extremes

By DAVID PRIZINSKY6:00 am, May 7, 2007

Although the area’s real estate brokers and agents aren’t happy about the state of the local housing market, they say the region has avoided the big downturns that have hurt some parts of the country.
Some in the business aren’t looking for a significant improvement until next year when the expectations of buyers and sellers converge in the residential sector, which began to turn sluggish last year after a strong 2005.

Agents and brokers here say that, along with a sluggish economy, media reports of the bursting housing bubble have distorted some perceptions of current conditions. Sellers have been holding out for higher prices, while buyers are encouraged by the bad press to wait for a deal too good to be true.

Sellers in the fourth quarter last year in Cuyahoga County were getting roughly 95% of the asking price, according to the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service. The MLS is forecasting some improvement in prices this year.
“We are in a slight dip right now,” said Tom Bier, a housing expert at Cleveland State University. “I expect the market this year will be down again a little.”


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