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Realtor Cool to Calling Slower Sales 'Big Chill'

February 04, 1990

I am a real estate broker and president of the Orange County Broker Council for ERA Real Estate.

I take issue with the article "The Big Chill" (Jan. 14). First of all, your title does not reflect what is happening in the marketplace, which is a slowdown from the fast-paced market of last year, not a "chill."

Your subhead stating that owners are being forced to slash prices to sell their properties is extremely misleading. What really is happening is that sellers are having to price their properties realistically in order to sell, and they are reducing asking prices, not selling prices.

Your article quotes a stockbroker as predicting a 5% to 10% drop in housing prices this year, and a real estate investor as predicting a 10% to 20% drop. What I don't understand, is, why you didn't interview people who are recognized experts, the economist, real estate analyst, real estate broker or real estate board president.

Their only disagreement is on how much the increase will be. That varies from 2% to 8% depending on who you talk to.

You stated that housing inventory is up 50% from a year ago. If your reporter had checked the facts, he would have found that there was a severe shortage of inventory last year, which would distort any comparison with this year.

H. RICHARD STEINHOFF

Irvine

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