Even though there were more real estate transactions in my market area in 2008 than there were in 2007, less money changed hands. The data I am looking at indicates that the dollar-volume of homes sold is almost 28 percent lower than last year's dollar volume. Home sellers felt the squeeze as did local real estate agents. The homes that sold were lower-priced homes in neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates, and many homes in the area lost some value between 2007 and 2008. In the last couple of months sales have been up but only in the lowest of price ranges. The banks have started a kind of giant clearance sale, and the homes they now own are starting to sell. The same thing seems to be going on in other parts of the country. The state of Minnesota ranks 30th among states for its volume of foreclosures. We expect to see more foreclosures in 2009 than we did in 2008 because of job losses and defaults on some of the more exotic loans that were written in 2005 and 2006. Unl...
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