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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lawler: MDC Results and Homebuilder Summary Table

by Calculated Risk on 10/30/2014 11:36:00 AM

From housing economist Tom Lawler: M.D.C. Holdings: Net Orders Up, Orders per Community Down; Margins Fall on Higher Incentives

M.D.C. Holdings reported that net home orders in the quarter ended September 30, 2014 totaled 1,081, up 17.0% from the comparable quarter of 2013. Net orders per active community were down 2.3% from a year ago. Home deliveries totaled 1,093 last quarter, down 13.0% from the comparable quarter of 2013, at an average sales price of $370,600, up 7.4% from a year ago. The company’s order backlog at the end of September was 1,874, up 6.4% from last September, at an average order price of $422,700, up 10.0% from a year ago.

Here are some excerpts from the company’s press release.

‘Larry A. Mizel, MDC's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Against the backdrop of an uneven recovery for housing and overall economic conditions, we are pleased that we have consistently produced profitable results since the beginning of 2012. However, the volatility of the housing market recovery was evident in our third quarter results, as elevated land and construction costs, combined with our use of additional incentives to stimulate demand for new homes, have pressured our homebuilding gross margins."

‘Mr. Mizel continued, "While we believe that the housing recovery remains on solid footing, it is evident that certain obstacles, such as Qualified Mortgage Standards and reduced Federal Housing Authority loan limits, have taken their toll on housing demand, especially for the first time buyer segment. Additionally, on the production side of our business, we have seen a negative impact from tighter subcontractor availability and adverse weather conditions in certain markets, as well as an elongated mortgage approval process. We believe the impact of many of these factors will diminish over time, allowing us to return to more robust levels of demand as overall economic conditions continue to improve."’
M.D.C.’s results were below “consensus.”

Here are some summary results for large publicly-traded builders who have reported results for last quarter. For these six builders combined, net orders per active community last quarter were up 1.8% YOY. Excluding the impact of acquisitions of other builders, net orders last quarter were up about 8.3% YOY.

  Net OrdersSettlementsAverage Closing Price
Qtr. Ended:9/30/149/30/13% Chg9/30/149/30/13% Chg9/30/149/30/13% Chg
The Ryland