NVR Inc., the region's largest home builder, said yesterday that four out of 10 of its new-home sales in the Washington area were canceled last quarter, making it the latest builder to report that more buyers are backing out of deals.
Around the Washington market, cancellation rates have tripled in the past year, to 17 percent, according to researchers at Hanley Wood Market Intelligence. In August alone, that meant about 250 cancellations. In its most recent earnings report, builder Toll Brothers Inc. said cancellations in the quarter that ended in July had more than doubled, to 18 percent nationally, while numerous builders said in interviews that their cancellations locally had increased.
Some are abandoning their contracts even if they have significant deposits. "Buyers are abandoning five-figure deposits on their future homes because they cannot sell their existing homes or did not sell them for nearly as much as they had counted on."