The Windy City just landed another big builder. KB Home in September purchased Chicago-based Zale Homes for $33 million, including debt. It marks the Los Angeles-based KB's first foray into the Midwest, and gives it a solid foothold in the Chicago market: Last year, Zale closed more than 300 homes for $106 million in revenue.

Luxury public builder Toll Brothers is also expanding via acquisition. In September, the Huntingdon Valley, Pa.-based builder announced plans to buy Jacksonville, Fla., builder Richard R. Dostie Inc. for an undisclosed cash price. Dostie, founded in 1974, expects to close 230 homes in 2003 for $70 million in revenue.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.