Sign of the times: Lennar’s Memorial Day Sell-a-thon

As a glut of new homes in the United States challenges home builders as never before, many are turning to sales tactics more often seen in retailers and car dealers.

Case in point: Lennar has announced a Memorial Day Sell-a-thon featuring “hundreds of homes nationwide” and “once-in-a-lifetime deals.” An advertisement for the sales weekend features a promise of “no mortgage payments for nine whole months,” meaning no “live” mortgage payments for that time period. Buyers would then begin to pay on the principal and interest of the purchase after that time period.

Other home builders have big sales plans in the works similar to Lennar: Ryland Homes has extended its “Get More Sales Event” through May 31 from an original end-date of May 18.

In its most recent study of home-builder confidence, the National Association of Home Builders said confidence levels are still hovering around record lows set in December.

“The single-family housing market is still deteriorating,” said NAHB president Sandy Dunn. “Even fewer builders now foresee market conditions improving over the next six months compared with our April survey, and builder ratings of buyer traffic through model homes also have dropped off over the past month on a seasonally adjusted basis.”