Free Vacations, $100,000 Discounts: Homebuilders Get Desperate

Read more on this subject: Housing
News Story Source: Bloomberg Quint – Prashant Gopal
(Bloomberg Businessweek) — Ram Konara, a real estate broker in suburban Dallas, is raking in freebies this year: trips to Lake Tahoe and Santa Barbara in California, Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, and a dude ranch in Wyoming. The homebuyers he represents are cashing in, too. They're winning price cuts of more than $100,000, on top of free upgrades such as media rooms, cabinets, and blinds.

This generosity flows from increasingly desperate homebuilders. Hot markets are cooling fast as interest rates rise. In the great housing slowdown of 2018, shoppers are reclaiming the upper hand, after years of soaring prices that placed most inventory out of reach for many families. "Everybody is hungry for the buyers," Konara says.

From builders' perspective the news is discouraging. New home purchases tumbled in September to the weakest pace since December 2016. Sales of previously owned homes dropped for a sixth straight month, the worst streak since 2014. Homebuilding st
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