More Home Sellers Slash Asking Prices

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U.S. homeowners slashed their asking prices for a third straight month in August, according real estate website Trulia.com. The price reductions hit the highest levels of 2010.

With the economic recovery marred by high unemployment, demand has been soft, despite the low housing prices and mortgage rates. Meanwhile, the housing market is saturated with oversupply and foreclosed homes. So sellers are attempting to attract buyers with lower prices, especially after the homebuyer tax credit ended in April.

Price were reduced on 26% of home listings currently on the market in the U.S. and accounted for a total reduction of more than $29 billion nationwide, Trulia.com said. The average reduction remains at 10% or $33,892.

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"On the surface, the latest price reduction data carries with it conflicting messages," said Trulia CEO Pete Flint in a statement. "Nationwide, sellers continue to slash prices and this is a worrisome trend. However, we're seeing gradual improvement in many U.S. cities -- several for consecutive months. What this shows us is that while we're in for a long climb to bring stability back to the housing market and while it's going to take time, that climb appears to at least be underway in some parts of the country."

While the price reduction figures actually increased to historic levels, 24 of the 50 largest U.S. cities held steady or dropped, compared with data from the previous month. In August, only 16 cities reported positive or unchanged price reduction data.

In Minneapolis, 43% of listings reduced prices -- an all-time high -- for a total value slashed off homes of $34.8 million. Milwaukee also crossed the 40%. Detroit had the least price reductions with 20% of listings cutting prices. In California, one of the hardest hit areas, five cities show improvement when compared with a year ago.
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