The Impact of Incentives On Homebuilders Bottom Line [Housing Tracker]

Includes: MTH, PHM, RYL, TOL
by: Judy Weil

Homebuilder Incentives 

Southwest Florida Business Briefs: July 21, 2008. “Pulte Homes has partnered with Herocare, a Fort Myers-based nonprofit organization that assists retired and active public servants achieve home ownership and financial security. As part of the partnership, Pulte Homes will offer $2,500 in additional homebuying discounts to Herocare members.” (Naples News, July 20th) 

Ryland Plans Weekend Sale At Developments. “This Saturday and Sunday, Ryland Homes (NYSE:RYL) will take up to $75,000 off residences to be built at its 12 Chicago-area developments. The developments include: Beacon Pointe in Hoffman Estates [and] Blackberry Crossing West in Montgomery.” (Chicago Tribune, July 18th) 

Meritage Homes / Crowley“Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) is introducing a new model home and 11 new designs in Creekside, Crowley’s only master-planned community. Buyers can also choose from two different sizes of home sites, with home prices ranging from the $120s to the $190s... Buyers who contract this weekend to build a new Meritage home will receive special incentives. Several home sites are within walking distance of the Creekside Amenity Center.” (Star Telegram, July 18th) 

Toll Brothers' Great Outdoors New Home Sales Event July 18-20. Minneapolis: “Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) is rolling out a sales event that gives buyers… a home complete with the outdoor enhancements buyers would typically add after they move in to a new construction home. The Toll Brothers Great Outdoors Sales Event takes place [on] July 19, and July 20, 2008.  As an incentive, homebuyers that deposit on a home during the event will receive select outdoor living upgrades such as a spacious sunroom, solarium, or bonus room, a deck or patio, fire pit or built-in barbecue, and landscaping enhancements for $1. The incentives vary development by development, but typically are valued from $30,000-$50,000.” (D Business News, July 17th) 

Sweepstakes Winners Receive New Del Webb Home. Georgetown, Texas: "The winners of the Del Webb 'Home and Away' sweepstakes closed on their home, valued at more than $219,000, inGeorgetown, Texas today. As winners of the sweepstakes in which more than 24,000 people entered, David and Delia Lopez were entitled to receive up to $250,000 toward the purchase of a new Del Webb (NYSE:PHM) home.” (Istock Analyst, July 16th) 

KB Home F2Q08 (Qtr End 05/31/08) Earnings Call Transcript. Jeffrey Mezger – President & CEO: At KB Home (NYSE:KBH) we are… featuring potential low monthly payments in our marketing and advertising outreach. These monthly payments allow renters to make a direct comparison to what they are paying in rent today often discovering that home ownership is within their reach… During the quarter we impaired approximately 40 projects. Around 90% of Q2 impairments and abandonments incurred in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida. The impairments were mainly driven by price reductions in markets as housing inventory increased in the face of rising foreclosures and softening demand… The cost increase to go to ENERGY STAR was very, very minimal in part because we have one business model we could roll it across the whole system… There wasn’t a margin adjustment for us as a result of the ENERGY STAR appliances. We continue to endeavor to find additional low-hanging fruit that we can offer to the consumer that don’t increase our costs a lot.” (Seeking Alpha, June 27th) 

Lennar Corp. F2Q08 (Qtr End 05/31/08) Earnings Call Transcript. “Bruce Gross, Lennar (NYSE:LEN) VP and CFO:  Revenues from home sales decreased 62% to approximately $1 billion. That was driven by a 58% decrease in home deliveries and an 8% decrease in average sales price to $274,000. The average sales price is net of sales incentives which averaged $48,700 per home during the quarter which increased about $5,000 per home compared to the prior year… Alex Barron – Agency Trading Group: …I know you guys have been doing these financing incentives with rate buy downs and paying closing costs and down payment assistance, how is that accounted for? Is that in the cost of goods sold? Is that part of SG&A? How does that flow through the income statement? Bruce Gross: That is included in sales incentives which is a reduction to revenue. So it factors into the gross margin calculation. 100% of it... Sales incentives are a reduction of revenue and 100% of any cost relating to a buy down program is included in sales incentives, which is a reduction in revenue.” (Seeking Alpha, June 26th)


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