Toll Brothers Will Sell Your Home For You [Housing Tracker]

 |  Includes: BZH, CTX, HOV, LEN, MTH, NVR, PHM, TOL, WCIM
by: Judy Weil

Quote of the Day 

"A chairman buying shares would spook people who are short the stock. He's an insider. He knows the market's been depressed. He's got access to superior information." - Analyst John Tomlinson of Majestic Research, on the rally sparked by reports of the CEO and founder of Hovnanian Enterprises purchasing major blocks of stock.

"I would put zero faith in this having any legs. This is a one-day phenomenon." - Kevin Quinn, a managing director of equity trading at Stanford Group Company, on said rally.  (Reuters UK, July 9th)

Homebuilder Stocks

Hovnanian Shares Up On Chairman's Stock Buy.  “Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises Inc (NYSE:HOV) rose more than 26% on Tuesday amid share gains across the home building industry and on news that Hovnanian's chairman had bought stock. SEC filing: Hovnanian's chairman and founder, Kevork Hovnanian, bought 220,000 shares at $5.18 each on July 3. News that the chairman bought stock might cause short sellers to cover their positions, said analyst John Tomlinson of Majestic Research.”  (Reuters UK, July 9th)


WCI Communities reveals Exchange Offer For 4.0% Contingent Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes Due 2023.  “WCI Communities, Inc. (WCI) said on Tuesday that it has commenced an exchange offer for all of its outstanding $125.0 million 4.0% Contingent Convertible Senior Subordinated Notes due 2023. The company is offering to exchange $1,000 principal amount of new 16% senior secured notes due 2013 for each $1,000 principal amount of the Outstanding Notes. The exchange offer will expire… on August 4, unless extended or terminated. Tendered notes may be withdrawn at any time prior to 12:00 midnight on the expiration date.” (Press Release, July 8th)


Centex Adopts Energy Efficiency Standards.  “Centex Homes (CTX) announced Tuesday that it will include a standard suite of energy efficient features in all of its homes nationwide by January 2009. Centex targets first-time buyers and has been actively working on a comprehensive redesign of the company's product line… Tim Eller, chairman and CEO of Centex. "Monthly energy bills are having a growing impact on the budgets of our home buyers, affecting overall affordability." A Centex-commissioned study [found that] homes equipped with features included in the initiative… revealed an improvement in energy efficiency of up to 22% over comparable homes built to the most widely used energy efficiency code, the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code.”  (Builder Online, July 8th)

Beazer Homes: Old Name Reaches New Low.  “Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH) is shorted by almost everyone. 63.20% of the outstanding stock is now short… [But Beazer] options are still possible trades. Often when [a] company reaches a point where it’s close to bankrupt, the options don’t outperform the stock and shorting the stock makes more sense if you can find shares to short. But the action yesterday in the options shows that you can purchase Puts in the month of August at a strike price of 5 and make more money on the options than from the stock itself. As the stock fell 10% yesterday, the August 5 Puts rallied 28%.”  (Steve Patterson in Seeking Alpha, July 8th)

Hernando Subdivision Shows Signs Of Growth  Florida: “Most new subdivisions in Hernando County have nearly halted construction plans because of the slumping residential market… But in the past few weeks, the eastern section of Trillium has been flattened. New homes are being built. "Pulte's found where the market is at and where the price is at," sales associate Phillipe Paul said of Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM). Despite the economy, there are people looking to buy homes. Trillium, located east of the

Suncoast Parkway
, is considered a desirable location because of its proximity to two major north and south corridors, the
Suncoast Parkway
and U.S. 41.”  (Tampa Bay Online, July 8th)

Affordable Housing Deal Nixed  NJ: “An appeals court on Monday voided an affordable housing swap [in Galloway township [worth] $2.135 million for about 60 home rehabilitation projects… Developer K. Hovnanian would have been relieved of its obligation to build 61 affordable housing units in Galloway's Smithville section… Fair Share Housing Center opposed the deal on the grounds it did not meet state requirements: "The court held that New Jersey law prohibits the Council on Affordable Housing from rubber-stamping big developers and wealthy towns paying out of their affordable housing obligations just so they can exclude low- and moderate-income people who work in their communities.”  (Bridgeton News, July 8th)

New Kind Of Housing In Trenton.  Trenton, NJ: “Heavy equipment started the demolition of the old Kearney Homes public housing complex at

South Warren Street
and Route 29 in Trenton to make way for Cooper Crossing. Crossing is made up of 88 stacked townhouses that will sell for at least $170,000; it is the first market-rate housing to be built in the city since the 1940s… Westrum Developers along with Ryan homes (NYSE:NVR) will build the two and three bedroom townhouses hoping to attract working class families into the city.”  (ABC Local, July 8th)

Sales Begin at New Stratton Flats Attainable Housing Development in Gypsum.  Colorado: “Stratton Flats, [is] a unique new Gypsum community offering both attainable free-market residences and deed-restricted reduced-price housing… Scott Russell, principal of community developer Meritage Development Group (NYSE:MTH): “Sales will begin immediately.” Interested buyers can choose from a variety of price points. Prices for deed-restricted residences begin at $171,000 for condominiums, $300,500 for town homes, and $343,000 for single family homes. Free-market residences start at $344,000 for town homes and $394,000 for single family homes.”   (Press Release, July 8th)

Toll Brothers Offering Unique Home-Buying/Home-Selling Event Sunday.  Florida: “Beginning Sunday at Toll Brothers's (NYSE:TOL) Southwest Florida communities, the homebuilder will offer a solution for those looking for a new home, but face the dilemma of selling their existing home. The "Buy Now, Buy New, Sell Later" program will offer new home buys special incentives and options with one major twist — the Toll Brothers will provide the experts to assist buyers with the sale of their existing home and defer closing on the new home until the old one sells. During the weekend, visitors to Toll Brothers communities will receive staging ideas and free consultations to help sell their current home faster.”  (News Press, July 7th)


Group Brings Anti-Lennar Message To Vallejo.  “Speakers from the Stop Lennar Action Movement targeted Mare Island master developer Lennar Mare Island [at a] Vallejo City Council meeting. [Saying] Vallejo would continue to face financial difficulties in its relationship with a Lennar company and [that] the city should be aware of its "unholy alliance with a rogue company." Lennar Mare Island, as part of a 21-company collaborative under LandSource Communities Development LLC, filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 8. Parent company Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN), [which has a] 16% interest in the company, did not file for bankruptcy, Lennar said.”  (Times Herald, July 7th)

Seeking Alpha's Housing Tracker is a collection of housing-related excerpts from various sources, grouped by topic. Feel free to post any interesting links on the subject in the comments section below.

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