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TrendWatch: Puppet Developers

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A Reuters analysis today comes to the shocking conclusion that slumping sales might just indicate that the housing bust is encroaching on New York City, but here's a bit of new news: That sales office you wandered into might not be quite what it seems. "Some lenders, wary of an announced foreclosure's negative effect on sales, might opt for a more subtle scenario in which they quietly take control of a property. 'You walk in there as a potential buyer and there's still a developer and a broker and a marketing person but in reality the developer has been eliminated from the equation and the bank is deciding whether or not to accept your offer,' Hersh said." [Reuters]