23 April 2006

Doors Close for Real Estate Speculators

Doors Close for Real Estate Speculators: "Investors who sought quick profits buying and selling real estate in the Washington region are in full retreat, dampening demand for homes, most notably for condos.
What is becoming apparent, market watchers say, is how big a part speculators played in the region's real estate boom of the past few years. Not just condominiums, but also townhouses and single-family houses, were snapped up by investors using no-money-down financing and non-traditional loans. They helped send prices soaring at unprecedented rates. And now many are trying to sell, or rent at a loss. Some may eventually dump properties at low prices to get rid of them. That could weigh down values for everyone.
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Lockboxes cover a bench outside the Halstead condo complex in Fairfax County. The boxes hold keys to units for agents to show prospective buyers or renters. There recently were 49 lockboxes for the 200-unit building. (By Preston Keres -- The Washington Post)

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Sales of new condos fell 43 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared with the first quarter of 2005, according to one report, and there are almost four times as many existing condos for sale than last year.
'We think the s"

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