U.S. existing-home prices declined in August for the first time in more than a decade as sales fell for a fifth straight month, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday.
The 1.7 percent drop in the U.S. median sales price, to $225,000, compared with the previous August, represented a dramatic turnaround for the once high-flying housing market, which last year was posting double-digit price gains.
That marked the first year-over-year drop in home prices since a 0.1 percent fall in April 1995. “Pop goes the housing bubble,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. He predicted prices will tumble further as home sellers struggle with a glut of unsold homes.
Locally, the median price in Nassau County dropped for the first time in nine years, according to data released earlier this month by the Long Island Multiple Listing Service.
Recently, John Giamarino, a Seaford resident who is trying to sell a home in West Gilgo Beach, started offering to pay the first year’s mortgage payments to whoever buys the house.
Giamarino said he got the idea from having seen similar incentives in the South, especially Florida, where he owns other property.
Dave Armon, who lives in Pelham Manor in Westchester County, said he started out asking $1.6 million for his six-bedroom Tudor-style home three months ago – below the $1.82 million a neighbor received – but has slashed the price by $300,000 because he has attracted few interested buyers.
“l am sitting here thinking maybe if I buy a car and park it out front with a bow on it, that will help,” he said.