Homebuying season worst in 50 years!

Homebuying season worst in 50 years!

business

Homebuying season the worst in at least 50 years

By Derek Kravitz
The Associated Press
Updated: 09/27/2011 01:28:35 AM MDT

A prospective homebuyer leaves an open house in Phoenix on Sunday. Prices for previously occupied homes have sunk more than 5 percent over the past year. (Joshua Lott, Bloomberg News)

WASHINGTON — The homebuying season was a bust. Americans bought fewer new homes in the March- through-August stretch than in any other six-month period since record-keeping began a half-century ago.

And sales of previously occupied homes didn't fare much better. They nearly matched 2009's total for the peak buying months. And that was the worst since 1997.

Combined, total sales this spring and summer were the weakest on records dating to 1963. The figures underscore how badly the housing market is faring and suggest that a recovery is years away.

Because the economy is barely growing and unemployment exceeds 9 percent, many people see a home purchase as too big a risk. Some worry about losing their jobs. Others can't afford the 20 percent down payment.

Not even shrunken home prices and the lowest mortgage rates in six decades are convincing would-be buyers.

Falling stocks and renewed recession fears have led many economists to push back expectations for a housing recovery.



Read more: Homebuying season the worst in at least 50 years - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_18983414#ixzz1ZSZPf0Qg
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