Big builders had a promising third-quarter in counties scattered across the country. A total of 15 counties experienced positive year-over-year growth in closings by builders with an annual volume of 500 or more units nationwide. To determine those with positive year-over-year growth, all counties are first filtered for a minimum of 250 new home closings by builders of an annual volume of 500 or more units using data from Metrostudy. Then, those remaining counties are ranked by year-over-year growth in closings by builders of the same minimum volume.

In most of those counties with positive growth in closings among the biggest builders, big production builders also scored quarter-over-quarter growth between the second and third-quarter. In all 15, the leading big builder also experienced positive year-over-year growth in new home sales. Quarter-over-quarter, 13 of the 15 builders also had a positive increase. Unsurprisingly, counties in Texas and Florida rule new home sales for big builders in the third-quarter. DR Horton is at the top in seven of the 15 counties including the top county for year-over-year big builder increase, Forsyth County, Georgia, which experienced a 37.31 percent increase in production builder closings between the third-quarters of 2013 and 2014. Lennar appears second most frequently as the top builder in four of the 15 counties. Of the top production builders with 500 or more units per year, Shea Homes takes the lead in county year-over-year sales growth with a 172.34 percent increase in Orange County, California. One county missing from the list is home of the Houston Goliath new-home market, Harris County, where year-over-year sales by big builders fell by 1.97 percent.

Metrostudy chief economist Brad Hunder predicts an increase in home building activity for 2015, For the biggest names in the business, the predicted upward trajectory looks right on track. 

Check out the Metrostudy data below for the full list of the top counties for big builders.


 County & Builder

Closings

Closings

Closings

% Change

% Change

Q3 2013

Q2 2014

Q3 2014

Q-o-Q

Y-o-Y

1. Forsyth (GA)

201

290

276

-4.83%

37.31%

DR Horton

49

82

100

21.95%

104.08%

2. Orange (CA)

561

920

752

-18.26%

34.05%

Shea Homes

47

87

128

47.13%

172.34%

3. Miami-Dade (FL)

319

336

409

21.73%

28.21%

Lennar

256

273

334

22.34%

30.47%

4. Denton (TX)

757

956

964

0.84%

27.34%

DR Horton

95

154

208

35.06%

118.95%

5. Osceola (FL)

254

294

319

8.50%

25.59%

Lennar

86

70

91

30.00%

5.81%

6. Duval (FL)

248

364

311

-14.56%

25.40%

Dr Horton

62

114

127

11.40%

104.84%

7. Dallas (TX)

256

281

304

8.19%

18.75%

Dr Horton

73

123

147

19.51%

101.37%

8. Lee (FL)

384

435

455

4.60%

18.49%

Dr Horton

73

123

147

19.51%

101.37%

9. Collin (TX)

830

902

966

7.10%

16.39%

Dr Horton

210

254

286

12.60%

36.19%

10. Pasco (FL)

277

274

310

13.14%

11.91%

Lennar

94

95

114

20.00%

21.28%

11. Franklin (OH)

260

253

290

14.62%

11.54%

M/I Homes

94

119

142

19.33%

51.06%

12. Wake (NC)

704

837

773

-7.65%

9.80%

Lennar

75

104

103

-0.96%

37.33%

13. Hays (TX)

251

278

267

-3.96%

6.37%

Dr Horton

31

48

63

31.25%

103.23%

14. Hamilton (IN)

350

296

364

22.97%

4.00%

Pulte-Del Webb-Centex

109

110

111

0.91%

1.83%

15. Palm Beach (FL)

374

370

379

2.43%

1.34%

GL Homes

146

180

176

-2.22%

20.55%

Note: Number of closing in the third-quarter is based on preliminary Metrostudy data and reported numbers may increase for named builders.