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Markets: Don't Forget the Seller

The Tribune's Mary Umberger talks with Syracuse University economics prof Gary Engelhardt about an under-appreciated aspect of the crap housing market: The sellers' role. There's a record lack of enthusiasm for selling, according to a study by Engelhardt. The low-price prospect isn't exactly a motivator. Also, 20% of mortgages are underwater, and folks are loathe to bring cash to the table to make up the difference, even if they're able to. Unemployment, underemployment, and declining wages are even bigger problems, holding sellers hostage (the ones who don't lose everything). What does Engelhardt think is the solution? Jobs, because buyer-side price recovery is a longer, more complicated road to travel. [Trib]