M/I Homes ended 2007 by announcing it was leaving the West Palm Beach, Fla., market and had sold off 3,700 lots worth $82 million.

The company wouldn't release details of the land sale except to say that more than 500 lots were in four West Palm Peach communities.

In a press release, M/I Homes said the land sale would allow the company to record pre-tax land impairment charges of about $80 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company also expects to receive a $50 million cash tax refund in the second quarter of 2008.

"The decision to exit the West Palm Beach market was a difficult one in light of the fact that we have been operating there since 1985," said Robert H. Schottenstein, M/I's CEO and president. "At the same time, our West Palm operation has been our smallest for more than 10 years, and we believe that disposing of our West Palm assets during these challenging times is the right decision."

M/I Homes' statement also indicated that in connection with the company's inventory review for the fourth quarter, additional impairment charges would be recorded.

M/I Homes came in at No. 21 on the 2006 BUILDER 100, a ranking of the top national home builders based on U.S. closings.

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