With sales suffering and no relief in sight for the economy, big public builders took advantage of their platform at the UBS Building and Building Products Conference to advocate for a new housing stimulus plan.
"I don't believe we are headed for another Depression, but something needs to be done," Meritage CEO Steve Hilton said during his firm's presentation. Toll Brothers CEO Bob Toll, whose company recently released preliminary results, agreed, but acknowledged that builders had not yet found Congressional supporters for the proposal.
Others focused more on conditions at their own companies. "We don't have to build homes unprofitably just to generate cash," KB Home CEO Jeffrey Mezger said. Standard Pacific CEO Jeffrey Peterson noted his firm's renewed access to capital thanks to MatlinPatterson Global Advisors' investment in the California-based Standard Pacific. Ryland detailed its cost-cutting measures.