Two of the nation's largest public builders have grown through Southern acquisitions. NVR announced its purchase of Columbia, S.C.–based Rymarc Homes in January. The builder closed 231 homes in 2004.

Meanwhile, Meritage Homes continued its Florida expansion by buying Fort Myers/Naples, Fla.–based Colonial Homes. Colonial closed 355 homes for $123 million in revenue last year and controls about 1,800 lots. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.