BIG BUILDER

Assured ... Predictable ... Dangerous

How come improving margins--the return on Sales--gets all the love and attention these days, when it's velocity--asset turns--are where home building companies can and should look for constant, sustainable improvement? SAI Consulting's Fletcher L. Groves highlights the benefits of focusing on "better processes, ... shorter cycle times, ... faster inventory turns," and states the risks in not doing so.

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BIG BUILDER

Want to Find the Fastest-Growing Multi-Gen New-Home Markets?

A new Pew Research study turned heads last week, and you can understand why. The study looks at household composition, and specifically at the eye-popping increase over the past 34 years in households that host multi-generational family members. The number doubled since 1980, from 28 million to 57 million--or upwards of one in five U.S. households, which is probably one of the most dramatic household demographic shifts since the era of the two-income household. set about looking to understand better the geography of multigenerational new-home growth. Here's a look at a mash-up of data points our own Katie Gloede put together

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BIG BUILDER

Financial Services Job Migration Previews New-Home Demand Trend

The smart money is betting big that a new jobs-to-new-household-formations-to-home-buying virtuous cycle will end all doubts about whether young adults will buy homes in numbers sufficient to support a housing rebound. Here, we get a look at the strong correlation between job formations--in this case, financial services job formation--and new-home demand in microcosm form. Markets that New Geography demographers Joel Kotkin and Michael Shire identify as absorbing new financial services jobs are showing especially strong demand and growth in new-home sales. Our Data Desk's Katie Gloede blended New Geography's leading metros for financial services employment with new-home sales data from Metrostudy's Builder Insight to arrive at the "Top 10 Financial Jobs Growth Magnets for New-Home Sales."

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BIG BUILDER

TRI Pointe Takes Hold of Weyerhaeuser's Five-Jeweled Crown

TRI Pointe settles on its mammoth $2.8 billion deal to acquire Weyerhaeuser's five home building operations, a talent-rich operator group, 27,000 building lots, and five regional power brand names via a complex Reverse Morris Trust financial transaction. Here, from BUILDER's John McManus, is what the deal means to TRI Pointe, and what it means to home building's leading organizations.

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BIG BUILDER

The Antidote to Size

If good is the enemy of great, what is scale the enemy of? SAI Consulting, Inc.'s Fletcher Groves, III, gives the question of "what skills are necessary to offset an unwieldy, unmanageable heft" a rigorous, disciplined articulation. What's here is a thought problem for organizations of all sizes in home building, which is how many works in process are enough, too many, not enough? And why?

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BIG BUILDER

Active Adult's 10 Hyperactive New-Home Magnets

Through what continues to be a lumpy, choppy, and iffy 2014 Spring Selling Season, the one true bright light in new-home housing economics is the Active Adult segment, where discretionary, cash- and credit-empowered older buyers are driving demand as they head to a new stage of their lives. Here, we mash-up TopRetirements.com's Most Popular Places to Retire for 2014 with our own sister-outfit Metrostudy's data to give you the inaugural "Top 10 New-Home Markets In America’s Retirement Magnets." Then we take it further, giving you a Local Leaders drill-down of the top 5 builders (for 2013) in each of those 10 markets.

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Century Becomes Home Building's 8th New Public in 18 Months

Century Communities executives opened the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, after raising $103 million by offering 4.5 million shares at $23, the low end of the range of $23 to $26. Listing on the NYSE under the symbol CCS, with FBR Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank acting as lead managers on the deal, Century becomes the 8th privately-held home builder to go public in the past 18 months.

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BIG BUILDER

Now Counts ... So It's Critical to Know Why People Move

In a way, the annual $150 billion or so business that is new home building happens at the margins of the United States economy's 130 million or so households. Still reeling from the after-shocks of the 2007 to 2010 Great Recession, just 36 million or so people move. For home builders, now counts, and knowing the reasons every mover gives for moving is critical, not only for current sales, but for future land strategy and investment. Here's a dive into new Census Bureau data on the four major groups of reasons people give for moving.

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BIG BUILDER

Entry-Level Bright Spots

Home building has just two questions that make predicting what the second half of 2014 will be like very difficult. One of the questions can be summed up in one word: Demand? The other is this: Supply? Funny, a correct answer to both of them is a single word as well: Millennials. What's behind the missing-in-action force entry-level, first-time buyers? Millennials. What's behind labor-constraints, talent shortages, and new ideas for designing and engineering homes for young adult households emerging in today's economy? Millennials. So, here we take a look at Metrostudy data to tell us where good things are happening on the first-time buyer, entry level, Millennial buyer front. What can we learn from these markets to port into others?

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Big Builder

Where in the U.S. is New Home and Lot Demand Peaking?

Big Builder taps Metrostudy's Regional Directors to identify which areas in their U.S. market coverage are experiencing the highest levels of demand for new homes and new home building lots. Scored on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hot score), each market, score, and insight from that region's regional director can be seen by clicking on our interactive map, after the jump.

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Big Builder

Selling Through the Lifestage

The ebb-and-flow nature of the buying cycle and the state of the economy can be disheartening at times, but there's no reason to let those circumstances interrupt the sales process. In this edition of BIG BUILDER, contributor Jason Forrest breaks down the three categories buyers flow through as their own life circumstances change, and reminds us to stay focused on the big picture—moving buyers through those categories faster toward a sale.

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BUILDER

Power CEO Panel Puts Price Vs. Pace, Culture into Focus

Five of home building's leading ceos, (left to right) Meritage's Steve Hilton, Shea's Bert Selva, TRI Pointe's Doug Bauer, Toll Brothers' Doug Yearley, and Standard Pacific's Scott Stowell discussed housing, home building, and development's challenges and opportunities with Hanley Wood vice chairman Frank Anton at BUILDER and Metrostudy's Housing Leadership Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

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