National Housing Market Outlook

Strong Demand and Few Public Builders Means More M&A Activity

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John Burns

March 20, 2015

Our Chief Demographer Chris Porter shared the following amazing chart with me, showing the explosive construction growth in the Southeast. Any builder or building products company that has invested more heavily in the Southeast has certainly reaped the rewards.

Chris, our Southeastern consulting leader David Kalosis, and I believe this growth trajectory will continue.  Affordable housing, pro-growth economies, and great regional airports will continue to attract people to the Southeast.  David also notes that the Southeast recovered later than many other areas, so recent momentum is strong, and builders are currently selling many high-end homes to relocating executives.

So I wonder why the big, publicly traded home builders dominate the Southeast less than other areas. While publicly traded home builders own more than 65% of new home subdivisions in Orlando, Las Vegas, Riverside, San Jose and Denver, the public builders own the minority of subdivisions in the Southeast, particularly Raleigh (33%), Atlanta (36%), and Charlotte (42%). This leads me to conclude we will see more M&A activity in the Southeast. We have already seen quite a bit in the last two years.

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John Burns
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