Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Great Western Homes, headquartered in Mesa, Ariz., for an undisclosed purchase price paid in cash. The acquisition, which is expected to close by early autumn, ushers the Red Bank, N.J.-based builder into the Phoenix market and expands the company's operations in the Southwest.

Great Western Homes ranks as the 14th largest builder in Greater Phoenix, in terms of 2002 to 2003 escrow closings. It owns more than 3,500 lots in metropolitan Phoenix, aimed at first-time and move-up home buyers. Great Western closed more than 700 homes with an average sales price of $129,000 during its latest fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2003. Scott Smith, president and CEO of Great Western Homes, will continue to head Great Western. The company will build under the name Great Western, a K. Hovnanian Company, and is expected to close 700 homes this year and 1,000 in 2004, according to Hovnanian president and CEO, Ara Hovnanian.

Hovnanian, which earned $2.5 billion dollars in gross revenues on 9,514 closings last year, now closes most of its homes in the West -- Riverside/San Bernardino, Calif., is its top market. But the company is leaving no region untouched. In April, Hovnanian bought Summit Homes of Ohio. It may not be stopping there. Recently, it broke ground for its new "world headquarters" offices in Red Bank.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Phoenix, AZ.