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Real estate recovery could take longer than expected

By: NASDAQ.com News
Posted: 8/18/2010 4:15:00 PM
Referenced Stocks:

The nation's real estate market has been reeling since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in April, and there is reason to believe that the housing sector could take even longer to recover than many had predicted.

According to real estate data site Trulia.com, 27 percent of current renters say they never plan to own a home. Of those renters who do plan on becoming homeowners, a substantial majority - 68 percent - say they don't plan to buy for at least two years.

"The current economic crisis is causing people to become very hesitant to get off the fence and buy a home," Trulia CEO Pete Flint noted.

It's also possible that the housing market's meltdown could be depressing sentiment. With many homeowners in negative equity, or owing more than their homes are worth, the perceived value of homeownership could be substantially diminished. More than 21 percent of mortgagees are underwater on their home loans, real estate site Zillow.com says - and it could be years before homeowners in hard-hit markets see a return to positive equity.

By Benjamin Foster ADNFCR-1724-ID-19927559-ADNFCR