The home building industry, suffice it to say, went on a wild ride during the last decade, setting modern-era records for production and losses. As the decade ended, it was almost as if we were back where we started.
When they weren't getting a deeper appreciation of the industry's cyclicality, builders witnessed some incredible events, including the infamous dot.com explosion and implosion, a complete meltdown of the U.S. financial system, and an unprecedented immigration influx that bolstered the ranks of home buyers and subcontractors.
If the composition of home buyers changed dramatically during the decade, so did the types of homes and communities that builders built. Builders perfected new business models for infill and in-town construction that served them well once the downturn hit. Active adult developments surged on the strength of aging boomers, then quickly receded as deflated home values led mature buyers to stay put. And as the decade ended, critics questioned the viability of suburban master planned communities.
After years of industry experts downplaying the desirability of mergers and acquisitions, M&A activity took off during the decade. So did the growth of public builders, who scaled their businesses to unimagined heights, with acquisitions accounting for roughly half the growth. Debate over whether public builders fueled the housing boom and the subsequent bust spilled over into public arenas.
So much happened during the last decade, it would have been easier to pick the 20 or even the 50 most important events. But we've winnowed the list down to the 10 that we thought were the most significant.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlantic City, NJ.