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Housing in Crisis Part 4: Lures Cast by Creative Developers

Fact: Urban areas, including those in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, have been experiencing exponential growth of inner-city housing due to incentives such as relaxed zoning laws and tax incentives.

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Fact: Fewer people have the cash to buy. Increased supply, decreased demand–what does this mean?

Sometimes it means a slight southward adjustment in asking price, and sometimes it translates into incentive programs. Here are some rather creative incentives as promised by developers in some of the country's biggest markets.

Rysar Properties in Cleveland, Ohio: The firm is throwing in a Smart Car for those who buy lofts or cluster homes at its Bluestone development.

Vintage Development Group, in Cleveland, Ohio: A free Vespa scooter goes to those who buy a home in either the Battery Park or Chester 82 developments.

1224 W. Van Buren Street in Chicago: The developer is offering to pay closing costs—and buyers can choose between $3500 in upgrades and a new washer and dryer, a year without assessments, or a no-down-payment financing option with eight months of no mortgage payments.

The Sares-Regis Group in Hollywood is offering prepaid property taxes.

540 W. 28th Street in New York City: Buyers can use the building's concierge service from the day they sign the contract—perhaps still one year before moving into the building.

The Nina on East 117th Street in New York City: Brokers whose buyers sign contracts are assured 4% commissions and $500 American Express gift cards.

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