The latest census figures on the housing market make for grim reading for homeowners. Some 18.4 million homes are vacant—11% of the nation's housing supply—and home ownership rates are dropping rapidly, CNBC reports. Prices are down year-over-year in all 28 major metropolitan areas tracked by the Wall Street Journal, and conditions look set to get even worse.
Real estate agents expect many more foreclosed homes to hit the market this year, sending prices down further. Buyers are demanding discounts because they are "convinced prices will drop further, and they don't want to feel like suckers six months later," says the chief executive of Redfin Corp., a real-estate brokerage that operates in nine states. The result, he says, is that "it's high noon at the OK Corral on every single transaction."