Sunday, December 7, 2008

Markets for durables when credit is tight

Two stories in the NY Times reflect changes in markets for durable goods and for real estate in the context of tight credit: layaway plans and rent with option to buy, respectively.

The Last Temptation of Plastic reports on the revival of layaway plans, which used to be popular before credit cards. In a layaway purchase, you make installment payments before taking possession of your purchase (e.g. a big furniture purchase); it's a form of enforced savings that locks in a price and helps supply self control and commitment (to save for the purchase) where it might be lacking.

Rent Now, Buy Later reports on the growing number of offerings in the NYC real estate market. These transactions allow potential purchasers to delay purchase until they have a bigger downpayment (and until they see which way the market is going), and they give sellers some rental income in the meantime.

These are both signs of tough times...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But they are also signs of the economy's ability to substitute from one form of credit to another, no?