Monday, October 23, 2006

Home sales sag, hit builders

Sales of existing homes in the Denver metro area fell 13 percent in September compared with the same month last year, according to statistics released Thursday. The median sale price of a single-family home declined 2.2 percent, to $243,500, during the same period.

"However you slice this, the market is slowing down," said Larry McGee, managing broker of the Berkshire Group.

Of 31,450 houses on the market, McGee estimates up to 7,000 are foreclosure properties and another 3,000 are at some level of distress.

"That means we're going to have a market adjustment," he said.

McGee said the weak market for existing homes is taking its toll on homebuilders, who are increasing the commissions they offer Realtors from 3 percent to as much as 4.5 percent.

"The higher the co-op commission goes, the more they're saying, 'Gee, we're a little desperate,' " McGee said. Read more

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