In a $990 million cash transaction, Lennar has joined with former affiliate LNR Property to purchase Newhall Land and Farming Co., a Southern California developer founded in 1883. If approved, the deal will give Lennar a prime position in the Los Angeles market, where it would control more than 25,000 lots in Newhall's Valencia and Newhall Ranch developments. One challenge: Newhall's ownership of Valencia Water Co., which means the California Public Utilities Commission must approve the Lennar offer.

Elsewhere in the West, Hovnanian Enterprises purchased Great Western Homes of Mesa, Ariz. Great Western closed 742 homes for $100 million in revenue last year and controls more than 3,500 lots in Phoenix. Terms were not disclosed.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.