Homebuilder News [Housing Tracker]

by: Judy Weil

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.

A Volatile Bear Still Roams Wall Street Even After Bailout. “Barbara Walchli, a Phoenix portfolio manager of the Aquila Rocky Mountain Equity Fund: "[Arizona’s] economy appears to be troughing, while other economies are still heading down.” Several hard-hit Arizona companies, including… Capitol Bancorp (CBC) and Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH), scored excellent stock-market gains during the quarter… In part, those results reflect the dramatic slide in commodity prices. Also, financial and real-estate stocks managed rebounds despite protracted weakness in those industries… Stock prices could improve in coming months, if only because they already reflect so much extreme pessimism at the moment.” (Arizona Republic, Oct. 5) 

Posh Pets Event Goes To The Dogs At Ave Maria Park. Florida: “Hundreds of dogs and their owners enjoyed a celebration Saturday in Ave Maria in South Park, which has a separate dog park with two fenced areas for large and small dogs… The event was sponsored by Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM) [and others.]” (Naples News, Oct. 4) 

Del Monte Park Won't Be Built Until San Jose Finds More Funds. “San Jose park officials have put the 2.2-acre Del Monte Cannery Park plan, approved unanimously by the San Jose City Council on Sept. 9, on hold until the city can find funds for the project… The city acquired the parkland through an agreement with KB Home (NYSE:KBH), which is developing the 383-unit Cannery Square housing project near the site. KB dedicated 1.7 acres facing Auzerais Avenue to the city in addition to park fees as part of the city's park impact obligation… The city will need [an estimated] $2.5M-$3 million to fund the construction and all associated park costs.” (San Jose Mercury News, Oct. 3) 

Forest City Military Communities Opens First New Privatized Homes for Navy Families. “Together with the U.S. Navy, Forest City Military Communities, LLC, today welcomed local officials and community leaders to celebrate the completion of the first new privatized homes for navy families at Mid-South… Made possible by the Military Housing Privatization Initiative - the 50-year partnership agreement between the U.S. Navy and Forest City (FCE) - provides families with the high-quality, affordable housing options that have been lacking in recent years… The housing redevelopment project will include a combination of demolition, renovation and new construction, resulting in a total of 318 military family homes. Including 73 new homes and 58 renovated homes.” (MarketWatch, Oct. 3) 

Homebuilders Mostly Down After Bailout. “Major homebuilders' stocks were mostly down Friday after lawmakers in the House voted to pass the government's proposed $700 billion financial bailout package and President Bush signed the measure into law. Homebuilders had urged lawmakers to pass the measure. Builders have seen orders for their new homes plummet, in part, as would-be homebuyers have found it harder to obtain financing.” (Forbes, Oct. 3)

Air District Fined Lennar Half A Million Dollars Last Month. San Francisco, Calif.: “In a surprise revelation, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District mentioned yesterday that it had reached a $515,000 settlement with Lennar (NYSE:LEN) over the developer's failure to monitor and control asbestos dust at Hunters Point Shipyard. BAAQMD executive director Jack Broadment brought up the settlement, which was dated August 8 and allegedly finalized in early September, during the air district’s October 1 board meeting.” (SFBG, Oct. 2)

Five Groups Seek To Redevelop Former Somerville Landfill. “Five entities including the Somerset County Business Partnership have expressed interest in the redevelopment of the borough's former landfill. According to Mayor Brian Gallagher, the following firms submitted qualifications to participate in the project by a Sept. 30 deadline: Pulte Homes with Avalon Bay Communities (NYSE:AVB) and the Rockefeller Group, Ecological LLC with Advance Realty, K. Hovnanian (NYSE:HOV), Tucker Development and the Somerset County Business Partnership… Plans have called for a mix of commercial and residential development and open space on the property.” (My Central Jersey, Oct. 2)

Beazer Homes USA NewsBite. “Over the last 52 weeks Beazer Homes USA (NYSE:BZH) has ranged from a low of $3.36 to a high of $12.49. Beazer Homes USA stock has been showing support around $5.44 and resistance in the $6.76 range. Technical indicators for the stock are bearish and S&P gives BZH a negative 2 STARS (out of 5) sell ranking. We will just watch this one for now. There are no hedged trades we like the look of for BZH.” (Market Intelligence Center, Oct. 2)

California Coastal Communities Completes Amendments To $210 Mln Credit Facilities – Update. “Tuesday, land development and homebuilding company California Coastal Communities Inc. (CALC) revealed it has completed amendments to its $210 million of credit facilities with two bank syndicates managed by KeyBank. The amendments defer $25M of debt payments, which were due at the end of 2008, until future periods and preserve an additional $75M of borrowing capacity till September 2009 by deferring loan amortization and commitment reductions. The company noted that as a result, only $1M of mandatory principal payments would be due by year-end, which it expects to satisfy with proceeds from pending home sale escrows.” (RTT News, Sept. 30)

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