The Buyers Are Back

As consumers regain optimism and the market for homes revives, the spring house-hunting season should bring quite a change from the winter doldrums

-- John and Lil Cronin listed their white Dutch colonial in Milton, Mass., at 1 p.m. one day last week. At 3, Lisa Looney drove up to take a look. She liked the place. By 6 the Cronins, who were asking $210,000, had accepted a $200,000 offer from Looney and her husband. Says broker Mary Sullivan: "We were astonished at how fast it moved. But that's the way it's been here. Our customer calls have doubled in the first six weeks of 1991 compared with a year ago."

-- In Montville, N.J., homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises had barely set up a sales...

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