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Sellers Drop Asking Prices on Fewer Homes in December: Report

Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The number of price-reduced homes on the market in December 2010 fell by 7.7 percent from the previous month, according to a survey of 26 major U.S. markets conducted by the national real estate brokerage ZipRealty.
Despite the month-to-month decline, the company says the number of homes with a reduced asking price remained high compared to a year earlier, rising 23.4 percent from December 2009.
ZipRealty’s report shows that in nine of the 26 markets included in its study, more than half of the homes for sale in December 2010 included at least one price reduction. Those markets are: Phoenix, Jacksonville, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Tucson, Orlando, Chicago, Seattle, Baltimore, and Orange County.
The report also found that in the markets surveyed, the median list price in December was down 3.9 percent at
$225,434, compared to November when the median list price was over $9,000 higher at $234,484.
California markets showed the largest month-to-month markdowns in terms of dollar amount, with the median list price in San Francisco dropping $35,195. Sellers in San Diego slashed their asking prices by a median $19,100, and in Orange County the median price reduction was $17,100.
Homes listed for sale in Florida markets were discounted by the largest percentage of original list price nationwide, with Orlando leading (12.4 percent), followed by Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach (12.2 percent) and Jacksonville (12 percent).
“We continue to see high inventory levels and declining prices,” said John Oldham, director of marketing for Emeryville, California-based ZipRealty. “Year-end inventory is declining but is still much higher than 2009 levels.”
According to ZipRealty’s 26-market analysis, the percentage of total housing inventory that has experienced at least one price reduction dropped for the first time in months, decreasing to 47.2 percent in December. That’s down from 48.4 percent in November and 48.3 percent in October of 2010.
“December is traditionally a slow month for home sales, and this could be a contributing factor to the decline over the previous two months in inventory as well as the drop in median list price,” Oldham explained.
By: Carrie Bay, DS News

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