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Byline: Shonda Novak
Dec. 11--Some Central Texas real estate agents are seeing signs of slowing in the housing market, but they're not sure whether it's the typical seasonal falloff or a signal of a broader economic slowdown.
Several agents say the slowdown is affecting the high end of the market " speculative homes at $500,000-plus in particular " although some builders dispute that. Other agents say it's taking longer to sell homes across the price spectrum.
And some agents are seeing potential buyers hold off until they see what direction the stock market and the economy will take. All of which is good news for potential buyers, who may have more time to make decisions and even negotiate prices " luxuries they haven't had for some time in Central Texas' housing market frenzy.
No one's saying things are bad " just that they've maybe gone from great to good. The latest figures from the Austin Board of Realtors show that home sales are up nearly 3 percent this year through October compared with last year, but agents say the picture has changed some in recent weeks.
"I'm feeling like the bloom is off the rose just a little," said Joe Bryson, president and broker of Real Estate Alliance Inc., an Austin real estate brokerage. "Now you can drive down a street and see three efor-salei signs, where you never saw that before. And you can drive down …