Desperate sprawl developer gives away cars with houses
BY SARAH GOODYEAR / 26 APR 2011
My head nearly exploded at the breakfast table on Saturday morning. I was reading a piece in The New York Times about an Illinois developer who has finally found a way to unload the new houses he has built some 50 miles from downtown Chicago, in a place he has seen fit to dub a “Village of Yesteryear.” When drastic price cuts werent enough to entice buyers, he decided to throw in $17,000 cash toward the purchase of a car with every house. That money can only be spent at the local General Motors dealer, of course — because, let’s go U.S.A.!
So this is what it has come to. Developers are now giving away vehicles to entice people to live in distant suburbs with life-draining commutes just when gas is hitting $5 a gallon. And a few consumers are biting — one is quoted as saying, “My money was in the bank, collecting very little interest, so I thought I might as well take a little gamble.”Ah, yes, gambling on real estate. Thats the kind of anecdote that makes you feel confident about Americas economic future.The article talks about how builders like Kim Meier, the guy behind the car giveaway, are having trouble moving their newly constructed homes in a market that is already glutted with buildings sitting empty.