The nation’s 10 largest home builders stayed in formation in 2011, leaving D.R. Horton crowned king of closings, with a total of 17,176. While PulteGroup was kept at No. 2, nearly 2,000 closings behind, the company bested Horton on gross revenue.

Each year, Builder publishes a ranking of the home building industry’s largest contenders based on home closings in our annual Builder 100 report, the full results of which will be released next week.

Unlike 2010, however, nine of the top 10 builders in the 2011 report (see chart below) saw their number of closings fall by 10% or more, usually taking revenue down as well. The one exception was Lennar Corp. (No. 3), whose closings fell only 1% from the previous year. The company also boasted a 1% improvement in revenue from 2010—the only top 10 for-profit builder to report a gain.

Lennar’s ability to hold the line helped to narrow the gap between it and PulteGroup, which had grown significantly in 2010 after Pulte’s acquisition of Centex.

After gaining far more market share in 2010 than any other builder segment, the top 10 lost ground in 2011, though not by much. The 10 largest builders controlled 24.31% of all new-home closings during the year, compared to 24.75% the year before.

BUILDER 100 Top 10
Rank Company 2011 Closings Change (vs. 2010 closings) 2011 Gross Revenue (in millions) Change (vs. 2010 revenue)
1 D.R. Horton 17,176 -10% $3,768 -7%
2 PulteGroup 15,275 -11% $4,137 -9%
3 Lennar Corp. 10,845 -1% $3,095 1%
4 NVR 8,487 -15% $2,670 -12%
5 KB Home 5,812 -21% $1,316 -17%
6 Habitat for Humanity International 4,970 -18% $1,575 13%
7 Hovnanian Enterprises 4,216 -16% $1,307 -13%
8 The Ryland Group 3,664 -14% $943 -11%
9 Beazer Homes USA 3,597 -15% $822 -12%
10 Meritage Homes Corp. 3,268 -12% $861 -9%


Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Greenville, SC.