As Housing Market Rebounds, Listing Prices Cut the Other Way

(WSJ) The end of the year typically represents prime time for savvy home buyers who pounce on last-ditch discounting by sellers. But in another sign that 2013 may be brighter for housing, price reductions on for-sale homes are getting harder to find in many markets.

Out of the 100 largest metro markets, 33.6% of homes for sale saw price drops from their original or recent listing price in the last six months, according to data to be released on Wednesday by home listing and research company Trulia TRLA -1.64%. In the same period a year earlier, a larger share, 36.7% of homes, went down in price. Overall, 83 of the 100 markets studied had fewer price reductions than in the previous reporting period.

In the case of homes that have been listed for more than six months, the current price was compared with the price from six months ago. Foreclosures were excluded from the data.

On the metro level, the difference was even starker. In Oakland, Calif., which recorded the smallest percentage of price reductions, only 15% of homes dropped in price. In the same period a year ago, 31% of homes experienced price cuts. “As prices strengthen and the market gets tighter, sellers are better able to sell without having to reduce prices,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia.

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