Real estate sales activity increased in 26 states and the national sales rate dropped 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2006, the National Association of Realtors reported in May, but Inman News has its own way to scope out the market: ask the readers. We asked on our blog, "How is the housing market in your area?" and readers were quick to answer. And, alas, the news isn't good: almost every other answer either contained the phrase "rising inventory" or "buyer's market." For example, one anonymous poster said that Northern Virginia (NOVA) is "overflowing" with inventory. Noting that a lag is expected between rising inventories and price reductions, the poster said, "About now is when prices are expected to start downward - how far, no one knows." A poster named Merv said, "Echo anonymous for NOVA ... In Northern Virginia, Loudoun County is experiencing one new ratified contract for every three new listings. In some neighborhoods with high inventories, prices are coming down almost...
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