Dallas Builders Stepping Up in the Downturn

By: Richard Soto

Though the surplus in housing inventory has been bad news for builders this year, the smart ones in Dallas are turning it into good news for new home buyers.

The 2007 Fitch report, released August 29, confirmed what the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have been reporting for months - new housing starts are down, the sub prime mortgage market has gone bust and the market is flooded with new homes for sale.

But what looks like bad news is actually a boom for those looking to buy a new home in Dallas. Keen on moving their inventory, motivated Dallas builders are offering buyers incentives and perks that can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings on a single sale.

Educated buyers are quickly finding out that getting a new home to fit their dreams can be as simple as asking. Do you think the backyard needs a deck? Would you prefer tiling in the bathroom, or hardwood floors throughout? Builders are willing to negotiate additions and extras like these to curry your favor.

One of the more significant incentives however, are straight ahead rebates. One builder in Addison recently offered buyers a $30,000 rebate off the purchase price of a new home, says Richard Soto, president of VIP Realty in Dallas. Rather than being discouraged by the crisis, Soto is excited about the great incentives builders are offering and passing the savings on to clients. A separate rebate program through VIP even offers to return an additional 1% of the purchase price to buyers - that's $3,000 on a $300,000 home.

But it's still hard to predict how long the rebates and incentives will last in North Texas. Standard and Poor's housing index reports that while the nation saw a 3.2 percent fall in home prices, Dallas pulled in a 1.6 percent gain in the second quarter. This means that even in the midst of the current downturn, Dallas is one of only five American markets where prices are still rising.

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