The Fischer Group, which closed only about 600 homes in all of 2008, enjoyed its strongest quarter in two years when it sold 229 homes during April through June in its home markets of Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. That represented a 28.7% increase over the 178 sales in those markets during the same period in 2008.
The company, which markets under the Fischer Homes and Maple Street Homes brands, attributes its sales bump to two factors: the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time buyers (especially beneficial to its Maple Street division, which targets first-time buyers), and consumer confidence.
“People understand it is a good time to make a move if they are in the position to do so,” says Brian Fannin, Fischer’s director of marketing, in a prepared statement. “It’s as if people are saying ‘We see the value. We’ve waited long enough.’” A source at the company tells BUILDER that Fischer’s July sales are looking stronger, too.
Fischer is one of the few large regional production builders that have been increasing their market share through land acquisition during the downturn. Its expansion into Columbus, Ohio, 18 months ago through the purchase of nearly 300 lots from Centex is now paying off, as Fischer has sold 53 homes in that market since the beginning of this year. It has 20 active communities in Columbus.
John Caulfield is senior editor for BUILDER magazine.