"Hanging on through difficult economic times" means different things to different people. For many families, the phrase means curtailing any non-essential spending, and buckling down to find a way to pay the monthly mortgage or rent.
To some builders, "hanging on" denotes a way to simply break even, whether that may mean deeply discounting all remaining inventory to keep any losses at a minimum. To others, it may represent taking on a second job, in a totally different line of work, simply to feed and clothe loved ones.
To a few well-capitalized luxury properties and resorts, hanging on for developers and builders means simply waiting for qualified buyers to return to the market, maintaining the status quo, with no price reductions or significant financial incentives.