Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lawler: More Builder Results, Summary of Q1 Results so far

by Calculated Risk on 4/24/2014 03:29:00 PM

D.R. Horton, the nation’s largest home builder, reported that net home orders in the quarter ended March 31, 2014 totaled 8,569, up 8.8% from the comparable quarter of 2013. Horton’s average community count last quarter was up 11% from a year ago. The company’s sales cancellation rate, expressed as a % of gross orders, was 19%, unchanged from a year ago. Home deliveries totaled 6,194 last quarter, up 13.4% from the comparable quarter, at an average sales price of $271,230, up 11.8% from a year ago. The company’s order backlog at the end of March was 10,059, up 5.3% from last March.

In response to overall weak demand from first-time home buyer, partly attributable in home price increases over the past two years, Horton announced in its conference call that is initiating a new product line called “express homes,” which will be smaller and priced lower than its current product lines and will be targeted to first-time buyers. An official said that first-time home buyers represented 42% of the purchase mortgages handled by its mortgage subsidiary last quarter, down from 50% in the comparable quarter of 2013. An official also said that the company increased sales incentives “some, but not significantly,” last quarter.

D.R. Horton’s results were stronger than consensus.

PulteGroup, the nation’s second largest home builder, reported that net home orders in the quarter ended March 31, 2014 totaled 4,863, down 6.5% from the comparable quarter of 2013. While net orders were down from a year ago, the company said that absorptions per community were up from last year. (Pulte has focused more on returns and less on expansion). Home deliveries last quarter totaled 3,436, down 10.4% from the comparable quarter of 2013, at an average sales price of $317,000, up 10.5% from a year ago. The company’s order backlog at the end of March was 7,199, down 8% from last March. Company officials noted that absorption rates per community were up significantly from a year ago in its lower-priced Centex division, but that this gain mainly reflected the strong Texas market, and not strength in first-time home buyer demand.

The Ryland Group, the nation’s eighth largest home builder, reported that net home orders in the quarter ended March 31, 2014 totaled 2,186, up 6.5% from the comparable quarter of 2013. Ryland’s community count in March was up 18.8% from last March, and the company’s average sales absorption rate per community last quarter was down by over 10% from a year ago. The company’s sales cancellation rate, expressed as a % of gross orders, was 15.3%, little changed from 15.4% a year earlier. Home deliveries last quarter totaled 1,470, up 11.8% from the comparable quarter of 2013, at an average sales price of $327,000, up 18.1% from a year ago. The company’s order backlog at the end of March was 3,342, up 6.6% from last March, with an average order price of $330,000, up 14.2% from a year ago. Ryland owned or controlled 39,482 lots at the end of March, up 30.3% from last March and up 69.5% from two years ago.

M/I Homes, the nation’s 16th largest home builder, reported that net home orders in the quarter ended March 31, 2014 totaled 982, down 6.2% from the comparable quarter of 2013. M/I’s average community count last quarter was 158, up 17.0% from the comparable quarter of 2013, and the company’s net sales per community last quarter were down 21% from a year ago. The company’s sales cancellation rate, expressed as a % of gross orders, was 16% last quarter up slightly from 15% a year earlier. Home deliveries last quarter totaled 737, up 17.5% from the comparable quarter of 2013, at an average sales price of $299,000, up 5.3% from a year ago. The company’s order backlog at the end of March was 1,525, up 10.1% from last March. M/I owned or controlled 20,965 lots at the end of March, up 28.2% from a year ago.

Here is a summary of some results from large, publicly-traded builders

 Net OrdersSettlementsAverage Closing Price
Qtr. Ended:3/143/13% Chg3/143/13% Chg3/143/13% Chg
D.R. Horton8,5697,8798.8%6,1945,46313.4%$271,230$242,54811.8%
Pulte
Group
4,8635,200-6.5%3,4363,833-10.4%$317,000$287,00010.5%
NVR3,3253,510-5.3%2,2112,272-2.7%$361,400$330,4009.4%
The Ryland Group2,1862,0526.5%1,4701,31511.8%$327,000$277,00018.1%
Meritage Homes1,5251,547-1.4%1,1091,0525.4%$365,896$314,36316.4%
M/I Homes9821,047-6.2%73762717.5%$299,000$284,0005.3%
Total21,45021,2351.0%15,15714,5624.1%$308,445$278,04010.9%