Hattip to Contrarian for the link in today's Bits Bucket to this article from the Washington Post today entitled "A Sense of Resentment Amid the 'For Sale' Signs". It was an unexpected read for me -- the writer lends an ear to those who think bailing out irresponsibility isn't a good thing and who are also unsympathetic to underwater borrowers.
But I think this statement from page two is inaccurate:
"Prince William County is one of many ground zeros in the subprime mortgage crisis. Pick up a pamphlet on home sales in the county, and you will come across an ad saying "Foreclosures R Us!" Pictured are dozens of homes being sold for what seem like bargain-basement prices, some under $200,000. But there aren't many buyers -- because no one knows what anything is really worth, or whether the market is anywhere near bottom".They picked the wrong county for which to make that observation. May I remind them of some Prince William County market statistics (they are posted here on the blog on the 10th of each month):
August 2008 -- YOY sales up 116% to 1,000 sales with 5,600 active listings,
July 2008 -- YOY sales up 103% to 1,012 sales with 6,105 active listings, and
June 2008 -- YOY sales up 91% to 976 sales with 6,473 active listings.
No buyers here. Move along!
9/23 Update: Thank you, Richard Starr, at the Weekly Standard Blog, for getting this information out to more readers.
9/23 Update: Kudos to blog reader Ace for noticing that the Washington Post now says there are buyers in Northern VA:
"Home sales in Fairfax County rose 10.7 percent last month, the county's first double-digit increase in a year and a half, according to the most recent data from the company that tracks local real estate listings.But wait, here's another opaque statement:
The flurry of sales activity suggests that prices have dropped low enough to lure buyers to the Washington area's largest county. But the uptick in sales is not widespread throughout the region, and unemployment data for August show a steady slowdown in the region's economy".
"The trend contrasts sharply with almost every other county in the region, except for Prince William and Loudoun counties, both of which have been devastated by an unusually high share of aggressively priced foreclosures. Sales in those counties have been climbing for a few months as buyers have been snapping up deals".I wonder which other counties in which region? Are they referring to the whole state? In August, sales were up in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Culpeper, and Stafford counties, and only down big (19%) in Alexandria City (a small area) and down slightly (5%) in Fauquier.