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A two-year window for buyers?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis November 14, 2012 09:03 AM

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Maybe, if one of the biggest investors in foreclosed homes in the country is to be believed.

Blackstone Group snapped up a good chunk of Boston's Financial District a couple years ago.

Now the New York mega investor is buying up foreclosed homes, but warns the window for deals may last only two more years, Bloomberg News reports.

Blackstone has been bulking up to the tune of $100 million worth of foreclosed homes each week.

More to the point, the company claims it has been paying on average $150,000 for homes that were worth $300,000 back at the peak of the housing bubble in 2006.

Check out this comment by Blackstone's real estate chief in the Bloomberg interview.

"Prices are starting to move faster," said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate for Blackstone, which has invested about $1.5 billion this year in foreclosed homes. "That's one of the risks that emerge as more people like us get into the space and as individual homeowner confidence grows. Frankly, buying a home today is pretty compelling."

Certainly upward pressure on pricing for all homes, not just foreclosure specials, is already starting to build.

Check out the latest report on pending sales here in Massachusetts - they were up big time in October. Pending condo sales jumped a whopping 43.5 percent in October, while pending sales of single-family homes leaped nearly 36 percent, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports.

Even as sales activity heats up with each passing month, the number of homes available for sale is dropping fast.

Inventory nationwide is down roughly 20 percent and Greater Boston has seen a similar drop in the choices available for buyers.

That's the classic recipe for rising prices - and for another home price bubble as well.

Does that mean buyers should rush out a grab the nearest home while the current low prices last? Absolutely not. After all, you are not buying a blender.

But it also pays to pay attention to the larger market forces out there. And anybody who thinks we are in a permanent housing market depression is off their rocker.

The only certainty about economic and market cycles is that are always changing.


This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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