A run of strong quarterly results continued for public home builders during the fiscal first quarter, with PulteGroup, Century Communities, Meritage Homes, and Tri Pointe Homes each beating analyst projections in the period.

Among the strong results in the quarter included a first quarter record for home sales revenue for PulteGroup, record-high quarterly sales orders for Meritage Homes, a company record community count for Century Communities, and 41% year-over-year profit growth for Tri Pointe Homes.


In addition to record home sales revenue of $3.8 billion, PulteGroup grew closings by 11% year over year to 7,095 homes in the first quarter.

Net new orders in the quarter increased 14% from the first quarter of 2023 to 8,379 homes. The builder’s cancellation rate fell to 10%, down from 13% in the prior-year period.

“I would suggest that [a] driver of our record first quarter results are decisions we made in the fourth quarter of last year,” president and CEO Ryan Marshall said. “On our last earnings call, we talked about decisions we made in the fourth quarter of last year to not lower our prices in a chase for volume.”

Marshall said the decision to hold pricing and have more inventory available for the 2024 spring selling season put PulteGroup in a position to sell and close more homes in the first quarter at higher margins.

In the quarter, PulteGroup operated from an average of 931 communities, an increase of 6% from 879 in the first quarter of 2023.

Sixty percent of PulteGroup’s land spend in the quarter was allocated for development of existing land assets. The builder ended the quarter with approximately 220,00 lots under control, of which 51% were held via option.

Meritage Homes

Benefiting from a strong supply of available inventory entering the spring selling season, Meritage Homes generated an average absorption pace of 4.9 per month in the first quarter, resulting in its highest quarterly sales orders in company history. The company’s 3,991 orders during the quarter also benefited from an 8% cancellation rate, well below Meritage’s historical average.

Entry-level homes represented 91% of first quarter sales orders, and the builder’s average sales price fell 5% year over year to $409,000.

The builder delivered 3,507 homes in the quarter, of which nearly half came from intra-quarter sales orders, and reported a record backlog conversion rate of 138% in the first quarter. Meritage reported home closing revenue of $1.5 billion, net profit of $186 million, and profits per share of $5.06.

“In the first quarter of 2024, we carried out our commitment to growth by putting nearly 6,300 net new lots under control, representing an estimated 43 future communities,” CEO Phillippe Lord said. “We strategically deployed our capital by spending $430 million on land acquisition and development.”

Century Communities

The strength in demand for affordable new homes drove strong year-over-year increases in deliveries, contracts, and revenue in the first quarter for Century Communities.

For the first quarter, net contracts increased 42% year over year to 2,866 homes. Chairman and co-CEO Dale Francescon said orders increased across all segments compared with the first quarter of 2023, with the most notable gains occurring in the Southeast (+86%) and Mountain regions (+84%). He said while the company is continuing to provide incentives through rate buydowns “when necessary,” buyers are continuing to adjust to higher rates, allowing Century Communities to reduce its level of incentives.

Century Communities delivered 2,358 homes in the first quarter, a 23% increase compared with the first quarter of 2023. The company generated home sales revenue of $922.4 million, a 25% year-over-year increase, and reported net profit of $64.3 million, or $2 per share.

Rob Francescon, co-CEO and president, said the company’s total lot inventory of 75,089 represented a 46% increase over the prior-year period.

The company grew its community count 8% year over year to 253, a record for Century Communities. Century Complete accounted for over 40% of its total community count in the first quarter, while the Southeast and Texas combined accounted for 30% of the builder’s total community count.

Rob Francescon highlighted that the company is continuing to drive down costs and improve cycle times in the strong demand environment. On a sequential basis, Century Communities reduced direct construction costs 2% and cycle times normalized to the pre-COVID historical average of four to five months.

Tri Pointe Homes

CEO Doug Bauer said the home builder met or exceeded the high end of its guidance across all key operating metrics in the fiscal first quarter. Tri Pointe delivered 1,393 homes at an average sales price of $659,000 in the quarter, resulting in home sales revenue of $918 million, a 20% increase compared with the prior-year period.

“In addition to the strong financial results for the quarter, we wrote 1,814 net new-home orders, an increase of 12% compared to the prior year, on a healthy absorption pace for the quarter of 3.9 homes per community per month,” Bauer said. “Consumer demand has been strong to start the year as the new-home builders continue to benefit from the lack of resale supply.”

Tri Pointe ended the quarter with 2,741 homes in backlog, a 35% increase compared with the first quarter of 2023. The builder also increased its owned or controlled lot count by 7% year over year to 34,153.

The builder reported profit of $99 million, or $1.03 per share, marking a 41% improvement compared with the first quarter of 2023.

During the quarter, Tri Pointe also expanded geographically by opening new divisions in Orlando, Florida, and the coastal Carolinas. Chief operating officer Tom Mitchell said the moves align with the company’s vision of building scale within existing markets while driving organic growth “where valued-enhancing market opportunities exist.”