Home Builder News

Lennar Agrees to Buy WCI Communities for About $643 Million

September 22, 2016
Heather Perlberg – Bloomberg

Lennar Corp., the second biggest U.S. homebuilder, agreed to buy WCI Communities Inc. in a deal that values the Florida real estate company at about $643 million and expands Lennar’s operations in the state.

The Best in the Midwest: Naming the Regional Best Projects!

September 15, 2016
Mike Anderson - Engineering News-Record

To suggest ENR Midwest judges had a challenging task determining the Regional Best Projects for 2016 would be an understatement. Close to 100 entries were received, each detailing a truly excellent construction project completed in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa or Kentucky.

Mr. Anderson may be contacted at andersonmd@enr.com

Unlocking the Data Treasure Chest

September 1, 2016
Tom Sawyer – Engineering News-Record

Construction technology leaders and software developers are preparing for a massive storm of innovation as the industry moves its data and processes to the cloud. The trend is breaking down data silos and opening company operations to penetrating, real-time analysis of the rivers of data flowing from traditional software processes, as well as newer ones supported by an explosion of field-collected data and mobile devices. The data is revealing how construction actually works and how projects really get built.

Mr. Sawyer may be contacted at sawyert@enr.com

Blackstone Said to Plan Invitation Homes IPO for First Half 2017

July 28, 2016
Heather Perlberg and Hui-yong Yu – Bloomberg

Blackstone Group LP expects to take its Invitation Homes unit public in the first half of next year, capitalizing on a rally in U.S. single-family rental landlords to list the biggest company in the industry, according to two people familiar with the matter.

KB Adds New Master-Planned Community in Nevada

July 14, 2016
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

According to Builder, “KB Home (NYSE: KBH) is celebrating the grand opening of its Groves collection of town homes and Greencourts single-family homes at the Inspirada master-planned community in Henderson.” The new home community resides within Inspirada, which is “the master-planned community situated on nearly 2,000 acres of land in the southern Las Vegas Valley. Located just minutes from the Vegas strip, Inspirada blends contemporary urban city living with the leisure and relaxation of a suburban desert community.”

Lennar Earnings Grow as Rising Employment Spurs Home Sales

June 30, 2016
Prashant Gopal – Bloomberg

Lennar Corp., the second-largest U.S. homebuilder, reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as the improving job market helped boost sales.

Connecting Real Estate Developers with Consultants – Interview with Savannah de Savary of IndustryHub

June 22, 2016
Aarni Heiskanen – AEC Business

I had the pleasure of interviewing Savannah de Savary, Founder and CEO of IndustryHub. The company’s discovery platform enables real estate developers to find top architects, interior designers, engineers and other consultants.

What made you start up IndustryHub?

I was working as a developer at a NYC based development firm and when it came to sourcing innovative new consultants for our projects, I found myself growing increasingly frustrated by the old standards of word-of-mouth. There was no trusted shortcut for this time consuming process and considering just how much the success of a project rests on working with the right people; from the architect and structural engineer to the lighting designer and cladding consultant, the need to transform word-of-mouth for the digital age became apparent. It was this experience that led me to found IndustryHub.

Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at aarni@aepartners.fi

One Way to Meet Energy Standards: Lower Them

June 9, 2016
Patrick Clark – Bloomberg

Commercial buildings are notorious energy hogs, accounting for nearly one-fifth of U.S. energy consumption, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Efforts to make them sustainable have proved more effective among developers of new buildings than the owners of older properties.

One way to break the logjam: Make it cheaper and easier for properties to get certified as green.

In a new program, announced this week by BRE Group, the U.K.-based company will begin offering its green certification system for existing U.S. buildings. The aim is to attract commercial real estate owners who want to pursue sustainability upgrades without spending a lot of time or money.

Toll Brothers Beats Estimates as Builder Raises Home Prices

June 2, 2016
Prashant Gopal – Bloomberg

Toll Brothers Inc., the biggest U.S. luxury-home builder, reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, signaling that the market for costly homes is holding up.

Net income for the three months ended April 30 was $89.1 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with $67.9 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier, the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based builder said in a statement Tuesday. The average estimate of 15 analysts was for earnings of 46 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Manhattan's Newest Condo Builder Speeds Up in Slowing Market

May 12, 2016
Oshrat Carmiel – Bloomberg

While a luxury-condo glut spurs some of New York’s biggest developers to re-evaluate their plans, a relative newcomer is plowing ahead with confidence.

Michael Shvo, a former real estate broker who closed his eponymous firm during the financial crisis, says he has about $4.3 billion worth of apartments under development and two more sites in contract. He’s trying his hand at building lavish homes for wealthy buyers just as sales start slowing, four years into a gilded construction boom that’s flooded the market with choices.

As developers who built many of those properties scale back, delay or cancel new high-end projects, Shvo expects to have almost 400 units listed for sale by August if all goes according to plan.

These Luxury Towers Have A Bridge In The Sky—With a Pool In It

April 28, 2016
James Tarmy – Bloomberg

Workers have almost completed mounting the copper paneling on the American Copper Buildings (née 626 First Avenue), the new tilting, two-towered development on Manhattan’s East Side, but their most striking feature—a three-story, 100-foot-long skybridge—is still open to the elements. On Tuesday, a Bloomberg photographer (and a laughably heights-averse reporter) had the chance to take the construction elevator up to the buildings' 29th, and then 49th floors, to get a first look.

Builder Confidence Remains Level in April

April 20, 2016
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

According to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Eye on Housing, “Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained unchanged in April at a level of 58 on the National Association/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).” According to the NAHB, “Builders remain cautiously optimistic about housing market growth.”

Housing Starts in U.S. Climbed More Than Forecast in February

April 6, 2016
Victoria Stilwell – Bloomberg

New-home construction in the U.S. rose more than economists forecast in February, led by the strongest single-family building in more than eight years, signaling continued confidence in demand for residential real-estate.

Lennar Profit Beats Estimates as Job Gains Fuel Home Sales

March 30, 2016
Prashant Gopal – Bloomberg

Lennar Corp., the second-largest U.S. homebuilder, reported a higher-than-expected profit for its fiscal first quarter as the nation’s job gains bolstered demand for real estate purchases.

Net income for the three months through February was $144.1 million, or 63 cents a share, compared with $115 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier, the Miami-based company said in a statement Tuesday. The average estimate of 14 analysts was for earnings of 52 cents a share, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Construction Dive Interview with NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe

February 24, 2016
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

After twenty-seven years as an economist with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), David Crowe is retiring and will be passing the torch to Robert Dietz, VP of Tax and Market Analysis, on March 18th.

Construction Dive interviewed Crowe regarding his time at NAHB as well as his earlier experience as policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

MetroStudy Releases 4th Qtr 2015 Home Building Outlook

February 17, 2016
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

Builder reported that the latest Metro Study on Home Building “indicates U.S. Housing Starts are expected to advance gradually to hit 1.23 million this year, with 819,000 of those being single family homes as defined by the Commerce Department. Multi-family housing starts are expected to increase to 418,000 as the rental market continues to exhibit strength. Metrostudy’s proprietary survey database, which consists of data from over 100 CBSAs and consists of hand-counted lots and newly occupied homes, indicates move-ins were 7.5% higher in the second quarter of 2015 than a year earlier, while new housing starts rose 12%.”

Home Prices Moving Toward the Trend Line

January 6, 2016
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Eye on Housing compared recent released data from the Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index with data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Home Price Index. According to Eye on Housing, “[b]oth indexes show monthly volatility but the trend has been relatively flat over 2014 and 2015.” By charting results from both indexes, Eye on Housing reported that the “trend lines…indicate that the stabilization of price growth…coincides with house prices returning to their long term trend path.”

NAHB’s Eye on Housing’s Top 2015 Story: Single-Family Home Size Trends

December 30, 2015
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Eye on Housing reviewed their 2015 posts and found that their November article regarding Single-Family Home Size Trends attracted a lot of readers: “The post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions. Typical new home size falls prior to and during a recession as some homebuyers cut back, and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions. This pattern has been exacerbated in the last two years due to market weakness among first-time homebuyers.”

Sacramento CADA Looks for Condo Developer for Capitol Park

December 17, 2015
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

The Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA) is looking for a developer to build condos across from the Capitol Park, however, for the first time the agency is not offering a subsidy, reported the Sacramento Business Journal. Wendy Saunders, CADA’s executive director, told the Journal that the “condominium project would be unusual, particularly in the Sacramento urban core. Because of state law allowing condo buyers a longer period to file suit over building defects, many builders steer clear unless they’re sure of the return.” However, Saunders does not believe a lack of subsidy will deter investors.

Toll Brothers Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises With Home Prices

December 10, 2015
Prashant Gopal – Bloomberg

Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, said fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose as it sold more homes at higher prices.

Net income for the three months through October climbed to $147.2 million, or 80 cents a share, from $131.5 million, or 71 cents, a year earlier, the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based builder said in a statement Tuesday. The average of 16 estimates was for 83 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Eased in November From Decade High

December 2, 2015
Ali Donaldson – Bloomberg

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders eased in November from a decade-high, indicating some cooling in the housing market.

The National Association of Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment gauge unexpectedly fell to 62 this month from a revised 65 in October, the highest level since October 2005, the Washington-based group reported Tuesday. Readings above 50 mean more respondents said conditions were good.

New Home Sales Decreased in September

October 28, 2015
Laura Parsons-CDJ STAFF

Using Census Bureau estimates, sales of new homes decreased 11.5% from August to September, reports NAHB. A low demand made sales for new home contracts weak in September. NAHB suggested this could be due to a lack of economic activity at the start of the Fall season. This decrease was worst in the Northeast region with home sales having dropped 61.8%.

Despite this decline, sales for new homes in 2015 are up from where they were at this time in 2014. “Given strong levels of builder confidence, we expect future months’ data to show a return to this positive growth trend,” according to NAHB.

Home Building Increases

October 21, 2015
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Eye on Housing reported: “Housing starts for the month of September rose 6.5% to an eight year high of 1.206 million units on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. The increase was all in the multifamily sector, rising 18.3% to 466,000.” This is the first time since October 2007 that total starts passed the 1.2 million mark.

NAHB concluded that “single-family production continues to move forward at a modest pace” as more homeowners sell their existing home to purchase a new one and millennials are moving out on their own.

CalAtlantic Group: Ryland Group and Standard Pacific Homes Merger is Complete

October 2, 2015
Beverley BevenFlorez-CDJ STAFF

Construction Dive reported that the Ryland Group and Standard Pacific Homes have merged to become the new corporation, CalAtlantic Group, becoming “the fourth-largest homebuilder in the U.S., with a market capitalization of $5.4 billion.”

Larry Nicholson, CalAtlantic president and CEO, “told GlobeSt.com that the complete integration of the two companies will take six to nine months and that they have already selected all of the new company’s divisional and regional leadership,” according to Construction Dive. However, Nicholson also stated “that approximately 10% of existing staff will be laid off to reduce duplication as the two homebuilders join operations.”


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