From the Press of Atlantic City:
The latest positive numbers for home sales and prices have divided real estate agents, ordinarily a group uniformly upbeat about the housing market.
Some doubt the numbers, even though they’re from their own association, and say it’s making it tougher to get home sellers to reduce their prices to more realistic levels.
Kevin Dawe, a real estate agent with Balsley Losco Real Estate in Northfield, said last week’s report that the median home price in the Atlantic City area rose 4.8 percent in the first quarter didn’t match what he’s been seeing.
In particular, Dawe said the figures from the National Association of Realtors, and other information gathered from state and local Realtor groups, seemed to disagree with what the Multiple Listing Service showed.
“As we talk to our sellers about the declining market we are actually facing and the fact that they have to be aggressive in pricing their homes if they expect to find a buyer, the statistics in your article are baffling and impact our credibility with customers,” Dawe said.
Bruce E. Breunig Jr., broker at Century 21 Alliance in Margate, admitted that “we Realtors remain part of the problem. We blame the media for fueling the downturn and try to counterbalance it with our own positive spin.”
Breunig had a theory as to why the NAR survey shows rising prices locally that real estate agents aren’t seeing.
The Realtor survey tracks median home prices, the price at which half of all sales were for more, half for less.
The subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent credit crunch have made it far more difficult for low-end buyers to get a mortgage, he said, which has reduced the number of low-end sales. The homes that sell are then disproportionately from the upper half of the market, artificially raising the median price.