Editor's note: In this four-part series, we observe some of the latest changes taking place in housing markets – some subtle and some rapid. Read Part 2: Housing inventory grows in some major markets; Part 3: The end of multiple offers and Part 4: 10 signs of a changing housing market. The living room, with its shiny hardwood floor, lemon-yellow walls and brand-new beige couches, was a masterpiece of home staging. The kitchen sported a vintage '40s sink with a swan-neck faucet. The back yard was exquisitely landscaped. But on Sunday afternoon at the Oct. 2 open house, not a buyer was to be seen. Visitors cruised through the two-bedroom, one-and-a-quarter-bath Northern California home offered for $479,000, but "not as many as there would have been six months ago, or even three months ago," said Maggie Resnick, the Prudential California Realtor overseeing the open house. "The market has changed, and it changed quickly." The scene seemed to echo news that consumers' home-buyi...
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