LOS ANGELES — Kurt Montufar isn’t stressing over the housing slump. He’s actually hoping things get worse. Like many wannabe homebuyers who were priced out of the market during the last boom, Montufar spends time these days scanning real estate ads and news reports to determine if it’s time to take the plunge and buy.
Indeed, the advantage is shifting to buyers in many previously high-flying housing markets, as homes take longer to sell and prices level off or begin to fall.
Modest annual declines have been seen in cities such as San Diego, Boston, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Honolulu, according to first-quarter data on existing single-family homes compiled by the National Association of Realtors.
Those numbers have left many people trying to “time” the market to take advantage of the slump. But experts said that can be risky because there is little consensus on how long the current doldrums might last.
In addition, the market forces that helped drive the housing boom _ affordable financing and the alluring prospect of escalating home values _ are no longer a given. Potential price breaks could be wiped out if interest rates rise any higher.
By ALEX VEIGA, The Associated Press