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Toll Brothers Announces Entry Into Seattle Market With Acquisition of CamWest Development LLC

HORSHAM, Pa., Nov. 21, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Toll Brothers, Inc., (NYSE:TOL) (www.tollbrothers.com), the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes, today announced its entry into the Seattle market through the acquisition of substantially all of the assets and operations of CamWest Development LLC (“CamWest”), one of the largest privately held home building companies in the Pacific Northwest. The purchase price, which was not disclosed, was paid in cash.

CamWest develops a variety of home types, including luxury single-family homes, condominiums, and townhomes, throughout the Seattle metropolitan area, primarily in King and Snohomish Counties. The firm has been recognized by the homebuilding industry through various awards for innovation in housing, green building practices, and excellence in marketing. Its homes typically sell from the mid $300,000s to $700,000’s, with some homes selling for over $1 million. The average price of its homes currently in backlog is approximately $500,000. The company was established in 1989 by Eric Campbell and has delivered more than 2,800 homes in the Seattle market since then. For calendar year 2011, CamWest anticipates delivering approximately 180 homes and producing revenues of approximately $90 million.

In addition to existing backlog, the assets acquired by Toll Brothers include approximately 1,300 lots owned and 200 lots controlled in King and Snohomish Counties. The acquisition will increase Toll Brothers’ selling communities count by approximately 15 communities. Toll Brothers expects the acquisition to be accretive in FY 2012.

Douglas C. Yearley, Jr., Toll Brothers’ chief executive officer, stated: “We are excited to enter the Seattle market with the acquisition of CamWest. It is one of the premier luxury homebuilders in the region with a long history of delivering exceptional quality and value to its homeowners. Seattle is a high barrier-to-entry home building market with a robust employment base and a concentration of affluence. Eric Campbell and the CamWest team provide a great management platform with a strong land position and well-established relationships with local land sellers and subcontractors.”

Eric Campbell, founder and president for CamWest Development, stated: “Toll Brothers’ brand name, reputation, and capital resources make it the ideal partner to expand upon the success that CamWest has achieved. Seattle is a market with many opportunities. We look forward to a great future as a member of the Toll family.”

Zelman Partners LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to CamWest.

Toll Brothers, Inc. is the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes. The Company began business in 1967 and became a public company in 1986. Its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TOL.” The Company serves move-up, empty-nester, active-adult, and second-home buyers and operates in 20 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Toll Brothers builds an array of luxury residential communities, principally on land it develops and improves: single-family detached and attached home communities, master planned resort-style golf communities, and urban low-, mid- and high-rise communities. The Company operates its own architectural, engineering, mortgage, title, land development and land sale, golf course development and management, home security, and landscape subsidiaries. The Company also operates its own lumber distribution, house component assembly, and manufacturing operations. The Company acquires and develops commercial properties through Toll Commercial and its affiliate, Toll Brothers Realty Trust, and purchases large distressed real estate portfolios through its wholly owned subsidiary, Gibraltar Capital and Asset Management.

Toll Brothers is honored to have won the three most coveted awards in the homebuilding industry: America’s Best Builder from the National Association of Home Builders, the National Housing Quality Award, and Builder of the Year. Toll Brothers proudly supports the communities in which it builds; among other philanthropic pursuits, the Company sponsors the Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network, bringing opera to neighborhoods throughout the world. For more information, visit www.tollbrothers.com.

Certain information included in this release is forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, information related to: anticipated operating results; financial resources and condition; selling communities; home deliveries; average home prices; consumer demand and confidence; contract pricing; business and investment opportunities; and market and industry trends.

Such forward-looking information involves important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect actual results and cause them to differ materially from expectations expressed herein and in other Company reports, SEC filings, statements and presentations. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: local, regional, national and international economic conditions; fluctuating consumer demand and confidence; interest and unemployment rates; changes in sales conditions, including home prices, in the markets where we build homes; the competitive environment in which we operate; the availability and cost of land for future growth; conditions that could result in inventory write-downs or write-downs associated with investments in unconsolidated entities; the ability to recover our deferred tax assets; the availability of capital; uncertainties in the capital and securities markets; liquidity in the credit markets; changes in tax laws and their interpretation; effects of governmental legislation and regulation; the outcome of various legal proceedings; the availability of adequate insurance at reasonable cost; the impact of construction defect, product liability and home warranty claims, including the adequacy of self-insurance accruals, the applicability and sufficiency of our insurance coverage; the ability of customers to obtain financing for the purchase of homes; the ability of home buyers to sell their existing homes; the ability of the participants in various joint ventures to honor their commitments; the availability and cost of labor and building and construction materials; the cost of raw materials; construction delays; domestic and international political events; and weather conditions.

Any or all of the forward-looking statements included in this release are not guarantees of future performance and may turn out to be inaccurate. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Frederick N. Cooper (215) 938-8312
fcooper@tollbrothersinc.com
Joseph R. Sicree (215) 938-8045
jsicree@tollbrothersinc.com

We will miss you Bob Jacoby!

The homebuilding industry lost a great man last week.  I for one considered him a personal friend.  I know Lennar and many others in the Washington DC area will miss him even more…Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his friends and family.

Please click here for obituatry and funeral information: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=robert-j-jacoby&pid=154427365

Claire Spence/Joseph Chris Partners

 

 

San Antonio Solar Boosters, Lennar and KB Home

From Builderonline.com

Posted on: August 22, 2011
Source: San Antonio Express-News

Of course the buyer of a new luxury home can consider installing solar panels. Why not?

But for the first time in San Antonio, solar panels are becoming an option for homebuyers at an affordable price point, and in the kind of new homes that many people purchase: production homes by large, national builders.

Supporters of solar energy say it’s a sign that green building has become more widespread in the market and that local homebuyers are growing increasingly sophisticated about energy efficiency.

Lennar Homes recently opened a model home with solar panels in the Kallison Ranch neighborhood off of Culebra outside Loop 1604 and will start offering solar panels as an option in all of its communities.

KB Home also will roll out solar panels as an option in all of its San Antonio communities this fall, and last week installed solar panels on a model home in its new La Fontana neighborhood off of U.S. 281 North and Evans Road.

“It really demonstrates a maturing of the market,” said Cathy Teague, a spokeswoman with KB Home. “Not every buyer will want to do solar panels, but there are a certain number of new homeowners who are interested in seeing how far off the grid they can get.”

Anita Ledbetter Devora, executive director of Build San Antonio Green said people also have realized they don’t have to install a huge and expensive system to run an entire home — they can use solar as a way to permanently shave utility bills instead.

“The tipping point is that we have more educated installers and builders,” Devora said. “Years ago it was an all-or-nothing mentality. Builders are putting in more affordable systems. It will make a difference in your utility bill without breaking the bank.”

Lanny Sinkin, executive director of Solar San Antonio, said some homeowners and builders take a phased approach. “You can do some one year and some another year and just keep building your system,” he said.

According to Solar San Antonio, the cost of a 5-kilowatt system — a typical choice that can handle about 40 percent of a home’s energy load — costs about $27,500 installed. But a CPS rebate whittles about $11,250 off of the cost, and a 30 percent federal tax credit shaves off another $4,875. That leaves a typical buyer of solar panels paying around $11,375.

“It really changes the whole proposition,” Sinkin said.

Both KB and Lennar declined to provide specific costs for the solar panel option, but Brian Barron, director of construction for Lennar, said the build will be able to lower the costs thanks to volume discounts.

In 2010, San Antonio-based Imagine Homes, a smaller volume builder, was the first to offer solar panels to buyers of homes at a moderate price point, in neighborhoods where home prices start around $140,000.

About 10 percent of its buyers have opted to put solar panels on their homes so far, and John Friesenhahn, a partner with the company, said he is seeing increased buyer interest in solar energy.

“My hunch is that it’s gas prices as well as the heat,” Friesenhahn said. “When gas prices go up, and people get these huge electric bills from CPS, they stop and think about their budget.”

Friesenhahn said in Imagine neighborhoods, a basic 2-kilowatt solar unit generally costs anywhere between $12,000 and $16,000 before the CPS rebates and tax incentives.

So far San Antonio has 382 photovoltaic units, mostly on homes, Sinkin said. Another 70 are awaiting approval from CPS.

A few years ago, though, the city had hardly any solar units — just five systems in 2008, according to information from CPS and Solar San Antonio.

Devora said she hopes that number will start to grow quickly, and was happy to see solar offered on homes where the utility bill savings can make a real difference in a household’s budget. “We’re seeing a huge change in the residential market,” she said.

KB Home, based in Los Angeles, has 28 neighborhoods in the San Antonio area and the Miami-based Lennar has nine communities. They are both among the top 10 most active builders in the market, and together have more than 13 percent of the market share of new home building, according to the housing research firm Metrostudy.

Barron said Lennar isn’t sure how many buyers will choose solar. But already the new model home has been drawing people curious about the panels. “Buyers these days expect some type of green efficiency program,” he said. “Installing solar panels is something we consider as the next step in green building.”

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/KB-Lennar-tract-homes-in-S-A-going-solar-2072961.php#ixzz1VlslxCvN

Congratulations Challenger Homes & New Home Star!

Challenger Homes, New Home Star Take Top Market Share in Colorado Springs
PRWeb – 10 hrs ago

Rapidly expanding Colorado builder and sales management partner hit milestone.

Colorado Springs, CO (PRWEB) July 28, 2011
Through the midway point of 2011, Colorado Springs-based, Challenger Homes has a good reason to be confident. For the first time in the homebuilder’s 11-year history, the company has moved into first place in Colorado Springs market share. The year-to-date permit report, published this month, marks a milestone for Challenger and sales management partner, New Home Star.

Although many builders continue to struggle, Challenger has thrived in recent years. The company has also remained steadfast in its practice of remaining closed on Sundays, despite most builders opening for business. In a market where every new customer counts, this practice has forced Challenger Homes and New Home Star to be very customer-focused the other six days of the week. Given the builder’s recent success, the approach appears to be working.

“We feel very blessed to be in this position during a very difficult market. It is a testimony to all of the great people working for and with Challenger Homes that share our vision and values,” said Challenger Homes president, Todd Anderson. “By focusing on some timeless basic principles, we have been able to not only survive this housing recession, but thrive to become one of the top builders in our market.”

Challenger has experienced year-over year sales growth in the high double-digits, since partnering with New Home Star in 2009. The national sales management and outsourcing company partners with builders across North America to drive bottom line results. In Colorado Springs, that partnership has assisted Challenger Homes for consecutive record years in one of the most difficult housing markets in history.

“Watching what has happened with Challenger Homes over the past two years has been amazing. It’s a special experience to go from 15th to 1st in market share; one that you don’t get to experience often. I’m proud of the extraordinary team effort and thankful for the results. There is no doubt we are blessed,” explained New Home Star president, David Rice.

About Challenger Homes:

Over the years, Challenger has sold a lot of homes, in a lot of different designs, to a lot of different people. However, the core principle hasn’t changed. More House to Call Home, designed around the customer, at an affordable price. For more information on Challenger Homes, visit http://www.mychallengerhomes.com.

About New Home Star:

New Home Star is a national sales and marketing company, providing builders and developers with comprehensive management and outsourcing services for today’s housing market. New Home Star currently partners with over 30 builders spanning 3,000 miles across the United States. For more information on New Home Star, visit http://www.newhomestar.com.

Happy 34th Birthday Joseph Chris Partners!!

Today we celebrate yet another milestone for Joseph Chris Partner’s – our 34th birthday! This would not be possible had it not been for the vision and dedication of Joe and Victoria Ramirez who built the foundation of our success today. As with any success we would not be here today had our clients and alliances not believed in our values and abilities. For that we thank you. The true cornerstone of our success is each and everyone in our Joseph Chris team. They have stayed the course through the challenging times and maintained our focus on relationship and support to our industry but more importantly will carry our values forward. Over the last year we have expanded our focus and I am confident we will carry our success into the next 34 years of Joseph Chris.

Veronica Ramirez, CEO/President

Four Great Builders to Watch!

Four Builders. Same Story.
Similar choices beget singular successes.
By:John Caulfield
www.builderonline.com

Great minds think alike, the saying goes. So it’s not surprising to discover common threads that connect the recent successes of the four regional builders we profile on the following pages.

All of them have refreshed and edited their house plans within the past 24 months, often by introducing new series with flexible designs. The builders have concluded as well that offering more choices through options empowers their customers and generates more profit per sale.

Another common thread is construction efficiency. Each company used the recession to work out how to build houses quicker with significantly fewer employees but without sacrificing quality. Simplifying their house plans certainly helped, as did the availability of labor willing to meet the builders’ higher production demands. Keeping their associates and subs happy is now a critical component of each company’s business model.

It’s worth noting that each of these builders projects healthy growth over the next few years within its local markets. That doesn’t mean, though, that they aren’t also looking to attract out-of-state buyers who are relocating for reasons of business, lifestyle, or retirement.

To continue reading this article follow this link: http://www.builderonline.com/operations/four-builders-same-story.aspx?cid=NWBD110512002

Lennar Atlanta Celebrates With “Derby Days”

www.atlantarealestateforum.com

Lennar Atlanta Celebrates With “Derby Days”

Never ones to shy away from using an event or holiday as a reason to celebrate and decorate their Model Homes, Lennar Atlanta has announced that this coming weekend from Friday 5/6 though Sunday 5/8 will be “Derby Days” at all their Atlanta new home communities in celebration of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby.

All Lennar Atlanta Welcome Home Centers will be decorated and events planned by the individual New Home Consultants active in that neighborhood. This means that if you tour multiple communities this weekend you may be offered a piece of authentic Kentucky Derby Pie, have the chance to win Kentucky Derby memorabilia or just shop for your new home in a festive environment. Sorry, but Mint Juleps are not on the menu.

“Derby Days” will be taking place throughout the northern metro Atlanta area including Caswell Overlook townhomes, Creekview at Shiloh Valley, Mirraview and Tanglewood in Cobb county. The new Lennar Atlanta Forsyth county communities of Laurel Heights and Hanover Pointe. Trey Vista in Buford will be the location to join the festivities in Gwinnett county. These communities range in price from the $150,000’s to low $400,000’s.

Don’t forget forget to follow Lennar Atlanta on Facebook to stay up to date on activities including events like “Derby Days” for all their Atlanta communities.

For More Information –
www.LennarAtlanta.com
Ph. 404-931-7462

I Am Woman, Hear Me Saw

From: BUILDER 2011Posted on: May 5, 2011 11:02:00 AM
I Am Woman, Hear Me Saw
Habitat For Humanity’s Fourth Annual National Women Build Week will start 257 homes by this Sunday.
By:John Caulfield

Mel Ressler has worked for Habitat for Humanity, on and off, for the past decade, including time spent with AmeriCorps. This week, she’s supervising the construction of two homes in Charlotte, N.C., that are among the 257 houses Habitat will start in different markets across the U.S. between April 30 and May 8 as part of its fourth annual National Women Build Week.

Women on construction sites may still be more the exception than the rule, but they’re more evident on Habitat’s sites, where on any given week 10,000 female volunteers are helping to build Habitat homes around the world. Over the past 20 years, all-women crews have built 1,800 homes under Habitat’s auspices, the first of which was started in Charlotte 20 years ago.

To finish reading the article click here: http://www.builderonline.com/construction/i-am-woman-hear-me-saw.aspx?cid=NWBD110506002

Taylor Morrison Takes Top For-Profit Private Builder Spot on BUILDER 100 List

Closings decline 21% among 10 largest private home building firms.
By:Teresa Burney www.builderonline.com

Surviving the worst housing market since the Great Depression represents a major achievement for a privately funded builder, but the top 10 for-profit private builders of 2009 were able to do more than just stay alive–they also managed to hold their own against the cash-rich publicly funded builders.

No private for-profit builder took a top 10 on the BUILDER 100 list, but one, Taylor Morrison, at No. 13 with 3,347 closings, came close. (Nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International achieved the rank of No. 8 on the list, with 5,294 closings.)

David Weekley Homes, The Villages, and Shea Homes weren’t too far behind with more than 2,000 closings for each of them. (See sidebar below for individual companies’ closings and revenue numbers.) However, Shea Homes, with a 35.2% drop in closings and a 40.1% fall in revenue, dropped several spots, falling behind David Weekley and The Villages.

Yet, as a group, the top 10 private builders were, for the most part, able to stay close to the same spots on the lists they held last year. Woodside Homes, even under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, only dropped one notch, from No. 20 to No. 22, with 1,788 closings in 2009.

Of course, 2009’s difficult business conditions made an undeniable impact on these firms. Business remains a fraction of what it was during home building’s peak, and most large private builders on the BUILDER 100 took a sizeable hit again last year. As a group, closings were down an average of 21%. Revenues were off as well, by 23.9%, as the companies discounted homes to get them sold.

Only one private builder, Ashton Woods Homes, grew closings last year, boosting its business by 9.7% to 1,319 deliveries. However, its revenue still declined 9.5% in 2009.

(Editor’s note: Housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, the No. 1 builder on this list of top 10 private builders last year, would have also been the biggest private builder this year based on last year’s criteria. However, this year we decided to restrict this list of the top 10 private builders to for-profit firms only.)

Top 10 For-Profit Private Builders in 2009

1. Taylor Morrison (B100 rank: #13*)
3,347 closings, $1.3 billion revenue

2. David Weekley Homes (B100 rank: #17)
2,229 closings; $690.million in revenue

3. The Villages (B100 rank: #19)
2,115 closings; $658.5 million in revenue

4. Shea Homes (B100 rank: #20)
2,091 closings; $838.9 million in revenue

5. Woodside Homes (B100 rank: #21)
1,788 closings; $469 million in revenue

6. The Drees Co. (B100 rank: #22)
1,500 closings; 519.6 million in revenue

7. Highland Homes (B100 rank: #23)
1,455 closings; $511.2 million in revenue

8. Ashton Woods Homes (B100 rank: #24)
1,319 closings; $319.5 million in revenue

9. McGuyer Homebuilders (B100 rank: #25)
1,280 closings; $325.7 million in revenue

10. Perry Homes (B100 rank: #26)
1,267 closings; $368.7 million in revenue

Source: BUILDER 100
* Numbers in parentheses refer to the company’s overall rank on this year’s BUILDER 100 list.

BUILDER 100’s Top Private Companies Spent Last Year Stuck in Neutral

But moves by several of the largest for-profit, private builders put them in better shape to reap rewards in 2011.
By:John Caulfield www.builderonline.com

Ask anyone at Shea Homes how tough it was to make a buck in 2010.

The Walnut, Calif.–based company was once again one of the 10 largest for-profit, privately owned builders in closings that year, according to our annual BUILDER 100 ranking. (See chart below.) But those closings were down slightly from 2009 and Shea’s revenue was flat, despite J.D. Power & Associates recently rating Shea the industry’s No. 1 builder for customer satisfaction.

No one could argue that Shea was simply waiting for the recession to recede, either. In June, it acquired a bankrupt Levitt & Son community in Florida for $5.3 million from Bank of America, which includes 345 developed homesites and undeveloped lots with the potential for another 390 homesites. In the first phase of the $2 billion Civita project in San Diego, Shea is building two subdivisions of 200 condos, townhouses, and attached homes. And the builder continued to expand its popular Spaces house design concept, which features room flexibility, to other markets.

Moves made in late 2009 benefited two private builders, Ashton Woods USA and Woodside Homes. Georgia-based Ashton Woods USA converted $125 million of its public debt to private debt, which appears to have given this company breathing room to grow. The company has since expanded its operations into Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Texas. Ken Balogh, a former Centex executive who was Ashton Woods’ COO, was promoted to CEO after Tom Krobot, who had held that post since 1995, retired on Dec. 31, 2010.

North Salt Lake City, Utah–based Woodside came out of bankruptcy in November 2009 and soon afterward began jumping on distressed land opportunities. Its strategy, says CEO Joel Shine, has been to “go where there’s a little less competition” from builders or existing homes, with an emphasis on being near job centers. As of November 2010, Woodside’s biggest deal since coming out of Chapter 11 was in Temecula, Calif., where this builder/developer placed in escrow $7.2 million to buy 210 finished and unfinished condominium lots. The company also acquired lots in Las Vegas; Mesa, Ariz.; and Roy, Utah.

Many private builders are hoping that 2011 presents their companies with a more robust business climate. Arizona-based Taylor Morrison, at the top of the list, is looking to return to profitability after its British parent, Taylor Wimpey plc, sold Taylor Morrison and Canada’s Monarch Homes in April of this year to an investment consortium for nearly $1 billion.

Texas-based David Weekley Homes, which incurred double-digit dips in revenue and closings last year, looked East for growth—to Indianapolis, to be precise, where last month it entered that market by acquiring The Estridge Cos., which only weeks earlier had discontinued its home building operations because it couldn’t get financing to continue. Paul Estridge will become president of Weekley’s Indianapolis division, which is already selling homes and is expected to restart construction next month.

Rank Company 2010 Closings Change 2010 Gross Revenue Change
14 Taylor Morrison 2,570 -23% $1,500 million 14%
16 The Villages of Lake Sumter 2,208 4% $512 million n/a
18 Shea Homes 2,002 -4% $835 million 0%
19 David Weekley Homes 1,857 -17% $612 million -11%
20 Highland Homes 1,704 17% $599 million 17%
21 The Related Group 1,634 n/a $961 million n/a
22 The Drees Co. 1,511 1% $513 million -1%
23 Woodside Homes 1,444 -19% $361 million -23%
24 Perry Homes 1,298 2% $364 million -1%
25 Ashton Woods 1,197 -9% $310 million -3%

John Caulfield is senior editor for Builder magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Diego, CA, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, Indianapolis, IN.