How to Recognize a Real Estate Recession

■ Statistics available from brokers and published in the business section of the local papers indicate that the volume of home sales is dramatically down from the previous year.

■ The number of houses advertised for sale (both new and resale) in the newspapers is enormous.

■ The price of homes is declining. This is usually measured by the median price. Instead of going up, statistics may suggest it's declining.

■ Government home auctions by the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) or the VA (Veterans Administration) may be held weekly, as evidenced by large ads in local papers.

■ There's difficulty getting financing from lenders because of the many houses already in default.

■ Tracts of new homes are fully built with the houses standing vacant and unsold.

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