Big Builder Online survey respondents aren't optimistic about the summer sales season. The majority of respondents to a recent survey said they are expecting a decrease for the summer sales season, with 54.5% saying it will be a marginal decrease and 36.4% saying it will be a significant decrease.
Only 9.1% said they were expecting an average seasonal pace.
"There is simply no catalyst for any uptick in the market at this time. Job growth, at best, is flat, the tax credit pulled demand forward, and underwriting criteria is more stringent," noted one respondent.
To counter the potential lull, many of the respondents said they are planning special sales and promotional events and lowering prices. Others said they will offer free upgrades and financial incentives as well as increase advertising.
Who's the target audience for summer sales? More than half of the respondents--63.6%--said they will target first-time home buyers, while 27.3% and 9.1% will focus on the move-up buyer and active-adult segments, respectively.
With affordability and low interest rates making this one of the best times in generations to buy a home, home builders are still dealing with difficult factors. The top factor, 63.6% of respondents agreed, is job insecurity, followed by distressed sales competition, home purchase financing, below-value appraisals, and construction lending.