Retirees: Time May Be Right to Buy

June 28, 2008

A bit of good news: This might be the right time to find a bargain, especially for buyers approaching their retirement years who can afford to take their time.

Not only are home prices down more than 25 percent in some parts of the country, there remains a glut of inventory on the market in traditional retirement destinations like Florida.

Of course, anyone looking to buy can also find good reasons to take a wait-and-see attitude, like the fact that good deals may not exist in every location, and no one really knows if prices will continue to decline.

“It’s like missing the top of the market — it’s the same thing with the bottom,” said Maurice Veissi, president of Veissi and Associates in Miami. “Generally you know it’s happened because you’re looking in the rearview mirror and it’s passed you by.”

According to the latest Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the average price for a single-family home is down nearly 27 percent in Miami compared with a year ago, versus a 25 percent decline in Phoenix and a 27 percent drop in Las Vegas.

Markets that were at the forefront of the recent run-up in home prices and are now leading the decline — a pattern reflected to varying degrees in other markets in all three states. But that means there are deals to be found in places where buyers previously felt priced out of the Florida lifestyle.


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