In struggling housing market, buyers and sellers are out of sync: "Across the Washington region and around the country, the expectations of buyers and sellers are out of whack, thwarting deals that could potentially lift the U.S. housing sector from its long funk. The nascent rebirth of the market earlier this year proved to be a mirage."
Sellers think their homes are worth about twice what anybody is willing to pay. An acquaintance of mine just bought a home in foreclosure. It was sold new in 2006 for $370,000. The absentee owner, who bought it as a (really bad) investment, has been trying to unload it and eventually he couldn't even find a tenant for it. The house sat vacant for a while and finally the owner just let the bank take it in foreclosure. At the foreclosure sale the bank wanted about $154,000. Only my acquaintance even bid on it--for one dollar above that figure. He got it.
There are three houses for sale on my street. One has been on the market for almost two years, the others over a year. No action. I'm sure they could be sold, but the prices would have to come down so low the owners either couldn't pay off the mortgage or would consider their lives ruined.
And every TV talking head keeps talking about "the recovery." Yeah, sure.