October 22, 2016

Major Incentives for Home Buyers This Fall

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Major Incentives for Home Buyers This Fall

Homebuilders are throwing in some extras to lure home buyers back this fall. For example, 10 homebuilders in a new suburban Phoenix community called Bridges at Gilbert are offering swimming pools, built-in barbecues, and subsidized mortgages.

Unique Incentives

Joseph Beben, a home buyer in the Phoenix area, says he chose to have a house built by Woodside Homes, which agreed to cover up to $10,000 of his closing costs as well as the price of a swimming pool. Beben will pay $332,000 for a 3,000-square-foot house. 

"Builders in volatile housing markets, such as Phoenix, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Orlando, are sweetening offers as sales slow," Bloomberg Business reports.

The large increases in home prices last year have discouraged some buyers. The number of new-home communities in Phoenix rose by a third in the past year to 457, but sales per community dropped 45 percent last month from a year prior, according to Jim Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.

Builders in Nevada also saw a big drop in sales this year. In Las Vegas, new-home sales surged 32 percent in 2013 — but in the first eight months of this year, they have fallen 26 percent from the previous year, says Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research, a Las Vegas-based consulting company. A similar trend is taking hold in Sacramento, Calif., where new-home sales plunged 16 percent last month year-over-year.

Builders are beginning to discount homes and look for ways to boost sales. Orlando builders, for example, reportedly are advertising discounts and appliance packages, as well as offering to cover closing costs, after new-home sales dropped 19 percent year-over-year in June.

Buyers are enjoying being the drivers at the moment in some of these markets. Bob Berg, a retiree from Chicago, was looking for homes in the Phoenix area. "A couple of builders said to me, 'What will it take for you to buy this home?'" Berg says. "That's kind of drastic when they say something like that. It tells me they want to move that home."

Source: "Homebuilders Offer Goodies as Sales Slow," Bloomberg BusinessWeek  (Oct. 9, 2014)