Stocks Open Down After Big Rally

Cashin said there will be people willing to buy banks' toxic assets. "But I want to hear from the bankers themselves as to what prices they're willing to take," he said.

President Obama said Monday that there are "glimmers of hope in the housing market," as well as signs that there is easier access to student loans, small business and car loans.

Bouroudjian seemed to agree with the president, noting the price of copper, an economic bellweather, has stablized. There is also an increased demand for crude oil and soybeans, he said.

Another encouraging sign was that the sale of existing homes jumped 5.1 percent in February, the largest monthly boost since July 2003.

Much of that was spurred by the rock bottom prices for houses now and the arrival of foreign buyers and real pros known as "housing vultures."

Some investors are already swooping in and buying up homes at a fifth of what they once cost.

Consider this: A six-bedroom home with a tennis court and pool was listed for $3.25 million and now, the minimum bid is $1.7 million, down 48 percent. Such pickings are attracting buyers from around the world.

In hard-hit states such as Michigan, California, Nevada and Florida foreign investors are snatching up homes at deep discounts. They come from as close as Canada and Mexico and as far away as China and India to take advantage of what they see as a good deal.

Bottom of the Real Estate Slide?

Some, like a group of Chinese businessmen, come to the states on real estate tours.

Most Chinese believe they need to see a house to make sure it has the proper feng shui. But some foreign investors don't even leave home to buy houses here.

"They don't necessarily feel a reason to come over here and look. Some of them will actually buy just through what they're seeing on the Internet," said Pat Lashinsky, CEO of Zip Realty.

Bruce Norris is a developer who hopes to pick up 100 homes by the end of the year in California's Inland Empire east of Los Angeles.

Norris showed "GMA" a house that sold for $350,000 at the peak of the market, but he bought it for $55,000.

"We'll fix it with about $37-38,000 and we'll rent it for about $1,200," Norris said. It will eventually be sold for $165,000, almost doubling Norris' investment, he said.

Because the real estate pros are buying, experts believe they are seeing the bottom of the real estate slide.

"Without question, what's happening is a positive sign," said Stuart A. Gabriel, a professor and director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA.

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