Centex Homes recently announced that it is leaving the Columbus, Ohio market. According to this year's "Local Leaders" data from BUILDER Magazine, the national home builder was ranked third in total market share of the Ohio capital in 2006. Centex spokesperson Eric Bruner says the move matches up with what other builders are doing.

"Generally, the company is redeploying capital and assets to focus on other markets," Bruner told BUILDER Online in a telephone interview. "We are going to be slowly reducing our staffing levels in those Columbus operations but at the same time, we will maintain the appropriate levels of support for those existing customers in the Columbus area." He continues, "It will be a long-term transition."

Dallas-based Centex has had a presence in the Columbus market since the late 1980s. Centex is the nation's fourth biggest builder according to the 2006 BUILDER 100. Centex, founded in 1950, operates in markets in 25 states. But, according to a May 25 article in The Columbus Dispatch, the Columbus market has not been kind to home builders. The market's top two builders in 2006, M/I Homes and Dominion Homes, reported that new-home contracts decreased 35 percent and 40 percent respectively.

"Like many other markets around the country, the central Ohio housing market is having its difficulties," says Jim Hilz, executive director of the Building Industry Association of Central Ohio. "This is compounded by the fact that the local economy is not generating job growth that brings new home buyers into the area."

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Columbus, OH.