KENILWORTH, Ill – Housing is fast dividing into two markets: Sales of low- and moderately priced homes are picking up and values have stopped falling in some parts of the nation. But on the upper end, sales remain mired in a deep slump and price declines are expected to accelerate.Signs of the divide are visible across the country, including in suburban Chicago. In middle-class Schaumburg, Ill., which had a median income of $65,000 in 2007, sales were up 41% in June from the depressed level of a year earlier and bidding wars have broken out on some properties. “I can’t even tell you how many I’ve been in over the last two months,” says Joe Stacy, a local real-estate agent.
By Nick Timiraos and James R. Hagerty, August 3, 2009, WSJ

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See also: “Where High-End Home Price Declines Outpace the Market” a blog entry related to the article above.

Tougher financing, rising unemployment, loan recasts and would-be trade-up buyers who’ve lost equity in their own homes: high-end housing markets have all the ingredients for a substantial price correction over the coming months, as today’s WSJ story notes. Most housing analysts expect housing markets at the bottom end of the price scale to see the sharpest price declines, because those markets generally saw the most dramatic price appreciation. But a handful of expensive-home markets are already showing price declines that outpace their broader market.Financial-data firm Fiserv provided a list of home price declines by zip-code, and a handful of the nearly 250 with median prices above $550,000 saw price declines in the 12-month period ending in March that outpaced those for their metro area.
By Nick Timiraous, Aug 3, 2009 WSJ

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