Pulte Homes is beginning a staged exit from the Kansas City market starting in mid-December, company officials reported. Pulte sold more than 300 homes in that market last year and is one of the largest builders there.

"The company has been unable to achieve consistent sales volumes that allow us to operate as efficiently and as profitably as we need to under current conditions," said Melanie Hearsch, manager of public communications. "And we feel it's in the best long-term interests of our company to focus capital resources on markets with greater opportunity for consistent returns."

The division's 25 employees were told about the decision last month. The retreat won't be rapid. Pulte plans to complete work and sell about 60 homes already under contract or currently under development to close out complete phases in the four communities it has open in the area.

The withdrawal will begin in mid-December and continue in phases through September of '08. "However, we plan to maintain a customer relations and warranty team in Kansas City through 2010 to service warranty needs of both existing homeowners and owners of homes currently under construction. Longer-term warranty service will still be maintained by Pulte Homes, with future service through another Pulte Homes division team," said Hearsch.

Meanwhile, Pulte will be putting its remaining Kansas City land up for sale. "I don't think we're disclosing a specific number, but we have a considerable number of lots--both raw land and developed lots--that we will be selling among the four communities," she said.

Pulte Homes has property in the Kansas City areas of Lenexa, Kansas City North, Liberty, and Lee's Summit.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Kansas City, MO.