Big Builder Online's recent spring selling season outlook survey drew a mixed response from home builder respondents: 38.1% said they are in agreement that this year's spring selling season will be a little better than last year's, while 38.1% think it will be a little worse. Another 14.3% fear this year will be significantly worse, and the remaining 9.5% think it will be about the same.
Many of the respondents who think this year's spring selling season will be worse off than last year are attributing that to the absence of the federal home buyer tax credit.
The good news is that many of the respondents--66.6%--have reported an uptick in sales since December. Only 14.3% of respondents said traffic has fallen off significantly, while 19% said it has remained the same.
To prepare for the spring selling season, 47.6% of respondents said they have opened more communities and changed their pricing strategy. Also high on the preparation list for respondents: 42.9% have developed new product, 38.1% have provided more training for sales associates, 28.6% have switched advertising and marketing strategies, and 28.6% have offered new sales incentives.
For 38.1% of the respondents, buyers' uncertainty about the economy remains the biggest hurdle to a successful selling season, followed by tightening lending standards (28.6%) and too many foreclosures (23.8%). And when it comes to how a buyer will mostly define value in 2011, 33.3% of respondents said it would be by price per square foot. However, 19% said buyers would define value by base price, and 14.3% each said they would base it on energy efficiency and the option and upgrade packages and promotions, respectively.