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Fiscal cliff changing your real estate plans?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis December 18, 2012 06:54 AM

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If so, you are not alone. Sizable numbers of potential home buyers and sellers right now across Massachusetts are anxiously watching the high-stakes fiscal negotiations in Washington, according to a new survey.

In fact, a few are even planning to pull their homes off the market or stop looking come Jan. 1 if there is no deal to avert the draconian budget cuts and tax hikes economists warn could trigger a new recession, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors reports.

Nearly half of all Realtors surveyed said their seller clients are worried the fiscal cliff could impact their ability to sell their homes, while 37 said they are working with buyers who are anxious about the looming fiscal catastrophe.

Of sellers who are concerned, 44 percent have not decided yet what to do, while 5 percent will be pulling their home off the market by Dec. 31 if it does not sell before then, according to the agents who work with them.

While buyers were generally more optimistic, a fraction of those concerned, 6 percent, said they plan to stop looking after Dec. 31, Realtors report.

Maybe Congress and President Obama will find a way of slamming on the brakes before the economy tumbles into the abyss - there are hopeful signs this morning a deal may at least be in the works.

On the other hand, here's a piece on the potential consequences for the housing market if no deal is reached.

Yet I wonder if some of those sellers who are considering pulling their homes off the market Dec. 31st are overreacting just a wee bit.

After all, even if a deal is not reached, it's not like we will all wake up Jan. 1st to find ourselves back in recession. In fact, there is still wiggle room over the coming months for a deal to be struck before the fiscal consequences catch up. Rather, this is a dangerous but relatively slow moving train wreck. If we head deep into 2013 without a deal, the cumulative impact of a sharp tax increase with big spending cuts could begin to throw the economy into reverse towards the end of 2013.

Stay tuned.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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