KB Home is losing no time expanding in 2004, announcing the acquisition in January of Palmetto Traditional Homes. Palmetto builds in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, the three largest metropolitan areas in South Carolina. In 2003, the regional builder delivered 570 homes, generating revenues of approximately $90 million.

The expansion positions the Los Angeles-based builder in 34 of the top 75 U.S. housing markets and strengthens its growing presence in the southeastern U.S.

Palmetto focuses on starter and move-up houses at an average price of $155,000. The company designs homes to reflect the traditions and culture of the Southeast. Andy White, one of the company's founders, will stay on as division president, and few staff changes are expected, says KB Home spokeswoman Debra Hotaling.

Last March, KB established itself in Georgia and North Carolina with the acquisition of Atlanta-based Colony Homes. In the fall, KB entered Chicago by acquiring the home building assets of Zale Homes, a privately held builder of single-family homes. It was the first extension of KB's operations beyond the Sunbelt. Later in 2003, KB launched two Florida divisions, dubbed Treasure Coast and Fort Myers.

KB now has domestic operating divisions in some of the fastest-growing areas of the country, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Texas.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.