Who’s afraid of the Big Bad (Housing) Slump?
Abstract: Anyone who lends to homebuilders knows that residential construction is a cyclical industry. But after years of record profits and double-digit value increases, news of a prolonged housing slump is a hard pill to swallow. So, what’s a builder to do? Many have responded by starting fewer new houses, slashing prices and offering financial incentives, such as free upgrades, seller financing and even new cars at closing. But these solutions — which cannibalize profits — are just a starting point for borrowers hoping to stave off financial crisis.