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this is by no means the first sign of its kind that I’ve seen, but this one’s right across the street from us… the house has been for sale (by the builder) since last year; I think the last time I looked the guy had lowered his asking price down to something like $255k, but that’s still WAY too much for the homes in this neighbourhood, esp w/an unfinished basement (altho’ they DID finally lay sod in the back yard in an attempt to make the property more attractive to prospective buyers, for all the good that’s done)…

I’ve also seen “free car w/house,” “free 60″ plasma TV w/house,” and “free BMW motorcycle w/house,” among others (but those are in neighbourhoods where we’re looking to buy, not where we live right now)…

I don’t think the problem is the glut of houses (which there is, at least out here, especially once you get up over the $350k mark); I think the problem is that nobody can afford to buy: salaries haven’t kept up w/the insane increases in housing prices; mortgage lenders have tightened up their lending criteria after getting bitten HARD in the backside by the “if he has good credit and a pulse, give him a loan!” practices that contributed heavily to all of the current foreclosure and short-sale mess in the first place; and the skyrocketing price of gasoline (and food, and everything else that has to be transported any significant distance from point of origin to point of sale) has certainly dampened people’s willingness to buy LITTLE things, let alone BIG things like a house…

I wonder what it’s going to look like when our national economy finally hits rock bottom — I’ve heard speculation that it’ll make the Great Depression of the 1930s look like a Sunday School picnic… and you recall what got America OUT of the Great Depression, right? yup: World War 2.

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