The predictions in the NY Times and Wall St Journal differ greatly on the direction the real estate market is heading. The Times still paints a pretty rosy picture for sellers, while the Journal predicts hard times. The difference? My bet is on the larger percentage of income the Times gets from real estate advertising.
This past Sunday, the cover story was about how sellers are sometimes having to make deals with buyers now that would have been unheard of a year ago. The article said that the difference between the listing and selling price in Manhattan during the second quarter of 2006 was 3.5 percent. Yet the few sales the Times lists tell another story, with the difference between asking and selling prices much bigger than 3.5% and time on the market growing longer and longer.
The Wall St Journal reports:
“The rapid deterioration of the market over the past 12 months has caught many homeowners and builders off guard. Some are being forced to cut prices far below what their homes could have fetched a year ago. It’s too early to say how hard the landing will be, but at a minimum it will be bumpy for many people who need to sell homes. ..The resulting slump, thus far, is being felt mainly on the East and West coasts and in Florida, where home prices had soared beyond the average working family’s ability to pay.”