Developer’s latest deal: buy the driveway, we’ll throw in the car

Moribund housing market has builder offering buyers a free car. Consumer advocates say they’d rather have the cash

Developer NCC Bolig is hoping it has an offer that’s too good to refuse for potential homebuyers. The company, one of the country's largest property developers, says it is prepared to way give buyers of homes in its Ullerødbyen development, near the northern Zealand town of Hillerød, a new Chevy Spark if they sign before May 1.

The car has a value of 100,000 kroner, while the terraced homes themselves start at 2.295 million kroner for 114sq metres of living space.

“We need to accept that it’s a slow market right now,” Dorthe Andersen, NCC Bolig’s head of marketing told local newspaper Frederiksborg Amts Avis. “Our business is building and selling houses, and when we get them built, we want to sell them so we can start building more.”

Financial expert Kim Valentin called NCC Bolig’s offer “a measure of creativity the housing market needed right now”.

Consumer advocates, however, were less enthused about the deal.

“If you really want to give people something for less, then why not just lower the price?” said Rasmus Kjeldahl, head of consumer agency Forbrugerrådet. “It’s difficult to get a mortgage right now, so cutting prices is something everyone would benefit from.”

He described the free car offer as a “diversionary tactic” that kept people’s from paying attention to the price of the home.

“We don’t think you should be mixing the two offers together. We see it as a con game.”

Prior to a 2007 EU court ruling, such buy-and-get-free offers were not permitted by Danish consumer protection laws.





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