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Sales of new homes glacially slow

  |   April 23, 2011 at 11:51 PM
NEW YORK, April 23 (UPI) -- Fewer new single-family houses are being sold in the United States than at any point since 1963, statistics show.

In places like California, Florida and Nevada, entire subdivisions constructed to cash in on the boom are sitting empty. But even in regions like the Chicago area, only a handful of newly built houses are finding buyers, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Most homebuyers now look for foreclosures or existing houses sold at low prices. But analysts say there also appears to be a change in behavior, that buyers learned caution from the housing bust and are not planning to buy the largest house they possibly can.

The soft market is bad news for homebuilders and for 1.2 million construction workers who are out of work.

Kim Meier of KLM Builders has sold seven houses in a subdivision in Richmond, 50 miles northwest of Chicago, since March. He offered buyers a $17,000 credit at a GM dealership, although some put the money toward the house instead of a car.

His previous promotion was to match the $8,000 credit offered by the federal government. His wife suggests the next one might be "buy one get one free."

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