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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Trapped by the mortgage meltdown

September 16 2007
Tighter lending standards have put many home sellers, owners and buyers in a bind. Whether you're a home seller, owner or buyer, by this point you've got to be feeling a little rattled. The bad news about the housing market seems never ending: Foreclosures have more than doubled over the past year. Sales of existing homes are off 11 percent from this time last year. At that rate, it will take at least nine months to work off the inventory of unsold homes. And median home prices in July (the most recent figure available) dropped for the 12th month in a row. Worse yet, all that happened before problems in subprime lending expanded throughout the mortgage market and beyond, creating what's popularly being referred to as the credit crunch. While it's too soon to see the impact reflected in the numbers, the immediate future is clear: As lenders tighten their borrowing standards, fewer people will qualify for mortgages.


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