The focus among builders is the message, now may be the best time in a lifetime to buy a house. How about sellers? If you're motivated to sell in the next 18 months, then you better get a move on, according to real estate consultant Steve Harney. The Chicago Tribune's Mary Umberger reports, "With the general agreement that the market has hit some long-awaited neutral spot, the banks have their hand on the cork, Harney said. He, among others, expects that cork to come out by the second quarter of 2011, as lenders push anywhere from 3 million to 4 million (as seen by foreclosure-data firm RealtyTrac) to 8 million (as forecast in a Morgan Stanley report) foreclosed houses onto the market. As a result, the burgeoning inventory should push prices down by 5 to 8 percent, Harney said, though he conceded that gloomier views foresee a 20 percent drop." Light my fire.

Read more...

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.