Home values in December fell to their lowest level since prices started to drop in late 2006, according to the Standard and Poor’s Case Shiller Home Price Index. They’ve now slipped all the way back to 2002 levels.
Fran Bailey is a realtor with Baird and Warner in Chicago. She says homebuyers are trying to time their purchases to get the lowest price.
"Like trying to time the stock market, that’s kind of a fool’s game," Bailey says. "But I think people are certainly using that when they’re negotiating prices with the expectation that there probably is a little more downside."
Prices for condos dropped even more than for single-family homes. Bailey says that’s because it’s harder to get financing these days for condos. The Federal Housing Administration only backs mortgages for condos in buildings that are at least half owner-occupied.