"People don't qualify for loans anymore, and banks have continued to price homes lower and lower," said Mike Shannon, a suburban Detroit real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures.
Millions of foreclosures are also expected to flood the market this year. That will force prices still lower. For many, the big question is, when will prices bottom? Some have tried to time their purchases to buy at the bottom. It often hasn't worked.
Matthew Hartman, a 38-year-old sales manager in Chicago, thought he was getting a steal in 2009 when he bought a four-bedroom house for $395,000. He sold it last month for $370,000.
"We kind of thought that the market was toward the bottom, especially when we moved here in August of last year," he said. "We thought we got a great deal on this house."
AP Business Writer Alex Veiga in Los Angeles contributed to this report. Herron reported from New York.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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