Look at a house, get a free Mouse?
Judging by the 52 percent run-up up in the Standard & Poor’s home builders index over the past three months, investors have been eager to get their money back into the long-slumping U.S. housing sector.
Home buyers, not so much.
Finding that tax credits for first-time buyers and low mortgage interest rates are not enough to lure in buyers, Los Angeles-based KB Home this weekend will be tossing in another incentive: Come look at one of their model homes this weekend and get a free stuffed Disney character.
For those shoppers willing to make the jump from looking to buying (and financing through the company’s mortgage arm) the company will throw in a room decorated in their (or their child’s) favorite Disney theme.
Homebuilders in recent weeks have been sounding more confident that the three-year-long slump they have endured — which kicked off the worst downturn the United States has seen since the Great Depression — may be leveling off.
Lennar Corp chief executive Stuart Miller on Monday said the housing market was on the “road back to recovery,” even as his company reported a deeper quarterly loss.
But some on Wall Street are raising concerns that investors are getting ahead of themselves in banking on a rebound.
“Some market observers are anticipating a faster recovery than we consider likely,” wrote BGB Securities analyst Merrill Ross, in a note on the sector.
Investors will have another reality check on the turnaround on Friday, when KB Home reports quarterly results.
But those numbers will come a bit too soon to show whether Mickey Mouse was enough to lure potential buyers off the sidelines.