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Lennar Homes Sees Declining Deliveries & New Orders In Houston During Q2

Lennar Homes reported fiscal second quarter numbers this week. Although the company posted higher revenues and earnings for the quarter, Lennar's Houston numbers were a noticeable soft spot. As one of the Houston area's largest new home builders, Lennar is a good gauge for the overall strength of the Houston market. As one might expect, the local market for new homes is still facing the headwinds of weak employment growth and general economic weakness stemming from the downturn in the energy sector. For the second quarter, Lennar delivered 613 new homes at an average sale [...]

KB Home Q3 Earnings Confirms Shrinking Margins Problem For Homebuilders

KB Home reported third quarter earnings, and the theme of compressing margins was apparent. KB reported revenues that were 43 percent higher and a 25 percent rise in deliveries for the quarter, but the company's profits suffered as a result. KB Home saw their gross profit margin fall from 18.8 percent last year to only 16.2 percent this year. KB cited higher land costs as a primary source of the dent to their profits. While KB's 25 percent rise in deliveries and 19 percent jump in new orders may look impressive in a headline, the [...]

By | 2015-09-24T14:31:48+00:00 September 24th, 2015|Development, Economy, Markets, New Home Sales, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Hovnanian Enterprises Hits Fresh 52-Week Low, Home Builders Swoon With Commodity Crush

Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) hit a fresh 52-week low of $2.19 today before closing at $2.21 per share. That's an impressive feat on what was essentially a flat day for the markets. Shares of Hovnanian are now down 46 percent YTD. Virtually all of the homebuilder stocks were down by a percent or more today, but that's not surprising considering the latest divergence between what builders are saying in public vs the projects they are actually committing money to. Builder optimism has taken a divergent path from actual single-family starts and completions, detaching from [...]

January New Home Sales Beat Expectations

The Census Bureau reported that new homes sales were better than expected in January, posting at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 vs expectations of 471,000. The inventory of new U.S homes stood at 5.4 months of supply in January. Bad weather apparently wasn't an issue, as sales in the Midwest rose 21 percent for the month. The average price of a new home was $348,300 in January, down sharply from December but up 3.2 percent from a year ago. This was a decent report for home builders, but now the real challenge begins. [...]

By | 2016-09-29T13:15:47+00:00 February 25th, 2015|Development, Economy, Mortgage Rates, New Home Sales, Real Estate|0 Comments

November Housing Starts, Permits Both Decrease

The Census Bureau reported that single family housing starts came in at a rate of 677,000 for the month of November. This was a slight decrease from last year. Single Family permits posted at an annual rate of 639,000. The non-seasonally adjusted numbers for housing starts show that 47,700 single family homes were started, compared with 50,900 in November of 2013. That translates to a 6.2 percent year-over-year decline. Without the "seasonal adjustment sauce" November permits for single family structures were 41,200, 5.9 percent lower than November of 2013. Optimism in the home building sector [...]

Crude Oil Does The Limbo Touching $55 – How Low Will It Go?

Crude oil prices took another dive Monday, falling over 4 percent to a fresh 5-year low of $55.02 per barrel. The only question now is how low will oil prices go before the market stabilizes and how long will that process take? The markets are beginning to wake up to the reality that this could well be a replay of the situation we experienced in 1985. This weekend we learned that the UAE is willing to ride the current price slide out, at least for the time being. OPEC continues to stand by its decision [...]

By | 2014-12-15T21:37:54+00:00 December 15th, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, In the Press, Markets, Real Estate|0 Comments

Toll Brothers Q4 2014 Results: Higher Prices, Flat Contracts, Higher Cancellation Rate

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers released fourth quarter earnings results today. As expected, Toll reported higher average sale prices and higher earnings.  Toll reported a 39 percent rise in net income for the quarter on a 29 percent increase in revenues. The average price of a home delivered in Q4 was $747,00 compared to $703,000 in Q4 of last year. Toll Brothers has made a significant expansion into the Houston market, and Houston area sales probably made a significant contribution to Toll's bottom line in the latest quarter. Toll currently sells in 9 different communities in [...]

By | 2016-09-29T14:21:15+00:00 December 10th, 2014|Development, New Home Sales, Real Estate|0 Comments

Falling Oil Prices Prompt Staff Cuts At BP, CapEx Budget Cuts At ConocoPhillips – Houston’s Housing Affordability In The Crosshairs

With oil prices plumbing a fresh new 5-year low to open the week, the fallout in the oil sector appears to be gaining some traction. Yesterday BP announced it would be laying off 100's of mid-level supervisor jobs around the globe. Fortunately, those planned cuts don't appear to affect the Houston office at this point. Today ConocoPhillips picked up the torch announcing it would cut capital spending in 2015 by $3 billion, or roughly 20 percent. With dramatically lower oil prices ConocoPhillips said it would defer significant investment in developed projects, including the Permian Basin [...]

By | 2014-12-08T21:44:47+00:00 December 8th, 2014|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Markets, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate|0 Comments

New Home Sales Disappoint At 458,000 Annual Rate In October

The Census Bureau reported that new home sales for October posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 for October. This was below expectations of a 470,000 rate. More interestingly, July, August and September sales numbers were revised down. September was revised down from 467 thousand to 455 thousand. August was revised down from 466,000 to 453,000, and July was revised down to 399 thousand. The median price of a new home sold in October was $305,000 and the average sales price was $401,100, both sharp increases from the same month a year ago. [...]

Big Business Wipes $288 Million Annually From Fort Bend County Appraisal Rolls Through Abatement

While we are writing checks for record high Katy area property taxes this holiday season, we may be comforted by the fact that we are also helping those in need across Fort Bend County. When I refer to "those in need", these are probably not the people you first imagined. In this case I'm referring to the creative business set who are doing their part in the name of "economic development". These are the folks who receive the benefit of government largesse with no conditional drug test or dramatic media scrutiny. These are the "job [...]