Slow home sales result in furniture bargains


One offshoot of the decline in housing sales is a commensurate drop in the sales of furniture. Major furniture chains are sitting on a ton of unsold inventory, and buyers stand to find some real bargains in the next few months.

The closing of chains such as Sofa Express and Levitz will eventually lead the market back to equilibrium, but in the meantime, expect Ethan Allen and the like to offer some great deals to clear out their overstock. According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) retail furniture sales in January were down 1.9% from 2007 and grew at less than half the expected rate in 2007.

I've noticed a sharp increase in used furniture on the local Craig's List site, which could be a result of people downsizing after losing their houses, as well as needing to raise cash for short-term needs. If you have the patience to chase down these deals, the market for used furniture is probably as flush with motivated sellers as we're likely to see for some time.

I'm in the market for a new recliner for my 'office', so I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a good buy. In a style and color my wife will allow in the house. For some reason, she lives in fear of my fondness for orange velour.