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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Housing: Toll Brothers "Orders up significantly", "Best Spring season in five years"

by Calculated Risk on 3/27/2012 07:06:00 PM

From CNBC: 'Best Spring in Five Years' for Housing: Toll CEO

It's been the "best spring in five years," [Toll Brothers CEO Douglas Yearley told CNBC]. In 2012 "our orders are up significantly and continue to be up significantly. I'm optimistic right now."
"25 percent of our communities have seen a price increase since Jan 1. That’s encouraging. There are places where we don’t have pricing power (but) we’re not dropping prices. We haven’t dropped prices in over a year."
Phoenix is hot for housing, having gone from 14 to 16 months of supply down to four or five months. "In the last month, Phoenix is back in a big way," Yearley said.
"We're bumping along the bottom in certain locations but we're clearly off the bottom in other locations," Yearley said.
This still hasn't shown up in the Census Bureau new home sales reports - but it will. Lennar reported sales up 33% year-over-year, Hovanian reported sales up 30% - however KB Home reported a decline in sales, though, as Tom Lawler noted today "KB Home’s surprise YOY drop in net orders for the quarter ended February 29th was company specific, and may have been related to its “preferred mortgage lender” issue."

Also the major homebuilders have probably gained share, so the increase will not be as sharp as some builders are reporting - but I expect to see a further increase in sales in the Census Bureau monthly report.