Across the U.S., house prices are skyrocketing, bidding wars are the norm and supply is scarcer than ever. Now the market is too hot even for homebuilders.
Demand is so fevered -- and construction costs are climbing so quickly -- that overwhelmed builders are suppressing orders and shifting away from fixed prices. Companies including D.R. Horton Inc. and Lennar Corp. are experimenting with blind auctions in areas such as Texas, Florida and southern California. Some smaller firms have stopped signing contracts altogether.