With February new-home sales down 29.8% year-over-year, desperate times call for desperate measures as home builders nationwide turn to increasingly drastic incentives in an attempt to move inventory, according to The Wall Street Journal. For that story and more, check out Big Builder's bi-weekly blog roundup.
While public perception in California may be that the bottom has been reached because sales appear as if they've hit absolute lows, Dr. Housing Bubble asserts that the real reason the decline in sales appears to have stabilized is that sellers are offering such dramatic slashes and incentives that buyers are being coaxed back into the market.
With the Fed funds rate already at historical lows, and the S&P Case-Shiller-Composite-Housing-Index-to-Disposable-Income-per-capita ratio well above the 0.4% level necessary for home buyer motivation, Seeking Alpha speculates that the next logical move for the Fed is to induce inflation.
Inman News takes on HUD's recently proposed RESPA reform, which, despite its focus on improved disclosures, includes packaging incentives that appear to mimic the rule change HUD failed to push through roughly six years ago.
Reggie Middleton's Boom Bust takes issue with J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon and his decision to increase the offer for Bear Stearns in what Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney calls "a human move."
BusinessWeek's Hot Property takes a look at the National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun's worries that additional Fed cuts could instill fears of inflation, which would push up rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.