In a Lynnwood Journal puff piece that reads more like a sales ad than a news article I found these interesting anecdotes:
Local lenders, such as Golf Savings Bank, are offering incentives, such as $1,000 off closing costs for certain new home communities, like Edmonds Cascade Cottages.Aren't these the kind of things that builders do when they are having a hard time selling at current prices? If the local housing market is as "healthy" as some would have us believe, why would homebuilders be resorting to bribes to get people to purchase new homes? Not having been shopping for a hew home lately I couldn't say how common this is becoming, but the fact that it's happening at all is still more evidence that things are slowing around here.
And local developers, such as Puget Sound Homes of Everett, are extending generous buyer's incentives for purchases of homes into January, to spur sales activity during a typical slower time of the year. However, as the market heats up again after the 15th of January, these buyer's incentives may go away.
Realtor Rick Horst, from the Everett office of Windermere Real Estate, represents Puget Sound Homes and Bellrose, a community of 28 single family homes located at the north end of Mill Creek. According to Horst, buyers at Bellrose can choose between a 2007 Ford Mustang, with a $23,000 MSRP, a $17,000 buyer bonus for use in closing costs and/or down payment, or having their first six months worth of mortgage payments paid by the developer.
One example of this [builder incentives] is the Acadia community of homes in Silver Lake, currently being offered for presale through John L. Scott Real Estate. Listing Agent Paula Hovander believes builder D R Horton will extend some portion of the buyer bonus offered in December, when the presale campaign was launched for their community of 36 single family homes. A total of seven homes were sold in December, with a $10,000 buyer bonus offered through DHI mortgage as an incentive to quick start presale activity.
I kind of wish that we had a local blog that followed new single-family homes the way that Matt over at Urbnlivn follows condos. It would certainly help give us a better idea of how much the market is softening.
(Jolene Anderson, Lynnwood Journal, 01.08.2007)