The Hispanic Demographic Here are a few other facts about Hispanics to give you an even clearer picture of the demographic's strength in numbers.

According to a study by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Hispanics represent an increasing portion of the age group in which most home sales occur, between the ages of 26 to 46. Moreover, first-time home buyers comprised about 60 percent of all minority home purchases in the 1990s, compared with about 35 percent of all home purchases by non-Hispanic white families.

The Hispanic buyer segment's purchasing power also shows some muscle. Latinos' purchasing power has an expected annual growth rate of 8.2 percent, according to The Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. The report also states that Hispanics will have an estimated total buying power of $992 billion in 2009—a 45 percent jump over 2004. The Selig Center anticipates that Latinos are likely to impact residential real estate more than any other single demographic group during the next decade.

Pulte Exits Mexico Michigan-based Pulte Homes waved adios to its Mexican home building operation in late December. The home builder sold Pulte Mexico to investors led by associates of Walton Street Capital, a Chicago-based real estate investment company. Banc of America Securities and Hipotecaria Su Casita, Mexico's largest independent Sofol, advised on the deal, which went down for an undisclosed price. Started in 1994, Pulte Mexico delivered more than 7,000 homes in 2005.

History Makers Toll Brothers recently partnered with Meritage Homes and Simon Property Group to complete the most expensive land transaction in Arizona history. The joint venture purchased a 5,485-acre parcel in northwest Phoenix from Daimler Chrysler Corp. for $312 million. The property, currently a vehicle endurance testing and development facility, will be transformed into a mixed-use master planned community of 15,000 to 31,000 homes.

Basic Division Calabasas, Calif.-based Ryland Group recently split its Northern California division to create two separate divisions in Sacramento and in the Central Valley. The expanding home builder has closed six communities throughout Sacramento and opened another six communities in the Central Valley.

Stephanie MacLean will move up from Sacramento division manager to division president. Prior to joining Ryland in July, MacLean was a senior vice president, business unit manager for KB Home in Sacramento. Ryland's Central Valley division will come under the direction of Rich Lange, who will serve as president of the division. A 10-year industry veteran, Lange has fulfilled a variety of positions, including vice president of operations for Pulte Homes in Las Vegas.

The current Northern California division president, Mike McKissick, will oversee both new divisions' development as a West region vice president.

Turbocharged KB KB Home's record fiscal year 2005 numbers catapulted the company onto Forbes magazine's list of 12 “turbocharged companies.” The list, derived from Forbes' Platinum 400 ranking, recognized public companies for growth rates of at least 10 percent over the past five years in both sales and earnings per share. KB, the only home builder on the list, reported bringing in $9.44 billion in revenue, up 34 percent from 2004, and delivering 37,140 homes, a 17 percent increase from 2004, in 2005.

Executive Moves Ryland Homes promoted its San Diego division's vice president and manager Rick Schroeder to division president. In Ryland's Jacksonville division, Sheryl Vaugh moved from marketing coordinator to marketing manager.