Waning price cuts signal housing improvement, report says

February 17, 2010 09:32AM

A slowdown in price cuts for U.S. homes on the market may indicate that housing is stabilizing, according to a monthly Trulia report released yesterday. The real estate search Web site said that as of Feb. 1, 21 percent of homes for sale nationwide had seen their prices reduced at least once, consistent with the figure reported for Jan. 1, when it hit lowest level since April 2009. The total value slashed during the month was $22.6 billion. In November 2009, 26 percent of homes on the market had undergone a price cut and $28.1 billion was cut from their asking prices. Luxury homes, which at $2 million and up comprise less than 2 percent of the inventory on Trulia, accounted for 25 percent of the $22.6 billion in price cuts last month. New York City ranked eighth among cities with the largest decreases in price-chopped listings: 18 percent of citywide listings had experienced price cuts last month, down from 27 percent in November 2009. “Seeing lower levels of price reductions nationally is an early indicator that we may be getting closer to a healthier real estate market,” said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO of Trulia. Flint warned, however, that the impending expiration of the homebuyer tax credit could deflate prices as owners rush to get their properties sold before the deadline. TRD