Market shift: Now builders lure Realtors

The Loan Officer\'s Practical Guide to Residential Finance

Thousands of dollars in [tag]home-closing bonuses[/tag]. Commissions more than three times last year’s rates. Deep discounts and even gas card promotions. In a rapidly slowing housing market, Realtors on Thursday found themselves suddenly amid a flood of incentives to sell homes at Thursday’s [tag]Tampa Bay Builders Association[/tag] Expo.

As the Tampa Bay housing market stumbles, sales have halved in once-hot home producers like Pasco County for the first six months of 2006, compared with the same period last year. The fall comes on the back of a national market that continues to slip. Sales of new homes in June fell 11 percent, year on year, the first decline since February. In Tampa, single-family housing starts dropped 14.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with the same period in 2005, according to a Metrostudy report released Wednesday.

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