Study finds home sellers cutting asking prices nationwide

Prices being cut across the U.S., study saysHouston properties were not among those listed in ZipRealty's latest report on home prices, but several other well-populated areas were unlucky enough to receive special mention from that company for seeing the biggest drops in home asking prices.

San Francisco took the cake for biggest whole-dollar average price reduction, as the average reduced-price sale in that city had $32,500 chopped from its value, ZipRealty said.

The company's director of marketing, John Oldham, said the general price downturn was widespread and that many of the cuts were significant.

"In more than half of the surveyed markets, sellers are averaging at least two reductions in price. Inventory has grown throughout much of the year; as sellers face the pressure of more buying options, they seem to be discounting to attract buyers resulting in list prices being cut for over 46 percent of the homes," he said.

Cutting the price on a home one is trying to sell is a big step, experts say, adding that a consultation with real estate professionals before doing this is probably a good idea.

Houston property owners could be affected by new city initiative for green tech

Houston launches green initiativeA new program in Houston designed to encourage property owners to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings will offer incentives for some types of renovation, Mayor Annise Parker announced this week.

"The Energy Efficiency Incentive Program is an unprecedented opportunity for commercial building owners and managers to actively engage in the city-wide sustainability strategy – to make Houston a greener, cleaner and healthier place for ourselves and future Houstonians. The energy efficiency projects completed as part of this program will …. help buildings achieve their sustainability goals," she said in a statement.

City government will commit $3 million in seed funding to environmentally motivated improvement projects. If an approved engineering estimate finds that a given renovation will result in at least a 15 percent savings in energy costs, Houston will make anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000 – up to 20 percent of the improvement's total cost – available to the property owner.

In addition to the city incentives, property owners should consider the savings on energy costs by themselves. The difference between unmodified old buildings and new renovations can be startling, experts say.

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