Housing prices will not return to previous levels for 13 years – commercial space could be vacant for 10 years – NY Times

Median house prices have dropped 20 percent since 2005. Given an inflation rate of about 2 percent – a common forecast – it would take 13 years for housing prices to climb back to their previous levels – and that assumes no further value/price drops.

In Atlanta, the Southeast’s tallest building, the Bank of America tower, is one-fifth vacant – and the B of A just wrestled a rent decrease from the developer of the building.

In Cherry Hill, NJ, 10 percent of the houses on the market are so-called short sales, in which sellers ask for less than they owe lenders.

Commercial vacancies are soaring, and it could take a decade to absorb the excess in many of the largest cities. The commercial vacancy rates (end of June 2010) stand at 21.4% in Phoenix, 19.7% in Las Vegas, 18.3% in Dallas/Fort Worth & 17.3% in Atlanta, according to data firm CoStar Group.

According to the NY Times’ MIchael Powell and Motoko Rich’s October 13, 2010, article, "Some of the homes being offered at distressed prices are dragging down prices for less troubled homeowners who hope to sell. And with [some] foreclosures in disarray, the market could be further weakened."

"Even someone who is trying to sell a normal, well-maintained house is at the mercy of these low prices," said Walter Bud Crane, agent with Re/Max of Cherry Hill, NJ, as uoted by Powell and Rich.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D06E7DC173EF930A25753C1A9669D8B63&scp=1&sq=Across+the+U.S.%2C+a+Long+Recovery+Looks+Much&st=nyt

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