Industry News

Real estate market slowdown a boon to some buyers

Slowing price growth, growing inventory creates benefits in some areas

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For years, Rebecca Nathenson, a product manager for a San Jose, Calif., firm, and her fiancé Eric Kline have wanted to buy a house. Now, "based on the softening market, it is finally a possibility," the MBA grad said. Growth in home prices slowed across the country in the first quarter of 2006, Freddie Mac announced today, with its Conventional Mortgage Home Price Index showing an 8.7 percent increase on an annualized basis, down from a revised fourth-quarter-2005 rate of 12.9 percent and a third-quarter-2005 growth rate of 13.7 percent. And pending real estate sales fell nationally for the third consecutive month in April, dropping 3.7 percent since March and 11.7 percent since April 2005, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. While these reports and stories of growing inventory in a number of markets are not good news for sellers, first-time buyers like Nathenson and Kline may have an easier time of it as the market slows. "We can afford more house now," Nat...