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RISMEDIA, July 18, 2008-A survey of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® brokers in early July indicates some easing of adverse conditions in the housing market, with 59% of respondents from throughout the country indicating that they are seeing a stronger market in the last 60 days, even after factoring in normal seasonal changes.

Overabundant supply has been one of the hurdles in the market, and nearly 20% of brokers are seeing a decline in inventory from a year ago, which has not been the case in the last several months. While the vast majority (82%) indicates that prices are down in the past year, 75% of those indicated that the decline was less than 10%, and 33% indicated a decline of under 5%.

Interestingly, with all of the focus on foreclosures, only a third said that such properties have had a significant impact on prices in their area, which is consistent with the fact that the majority of foreclosures are occurring in about eight states.

Experiences were mixed in terms of which market segments were the slowest in this environment, with 31% indicating the mid-range “move-up” market, 55% pointing to the high-end market, and 13% saying that the first-time buyer market is the most sluggish.

Respondents were from all areas of the country: Southeast 38%; Northeast 29%; Midwest 17%; Southwest 14%; and Western states 6%.

The Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) network is comprised of nearly 700 of the top locally-branded companies in the country, with 5,500 offices and annual homes sales of $370 billion in 2007, more than any national franchise brand. The organization also has members in 38 countries abroad.

“We believe our affiliates represent a good cross-section of the U.S. brokerage community because many of these firms are the market leaders in their areas and encompass a large number of transactions. The findings from this month’s ‘Housing Beat’ survey mirror what others in the industry are reporting – that we are not out of the woods yet, but that inventory is beginning to be absorbed, financing difficulties have eased, sellers are more realistic about pricing and buyers are growing impatient with waiting to purchase their next home.”

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