Finance

Lennar reports weak first quarter in Houston

Photo: Bob Levey, Photographer Image 1of/1 Caption Close Image 1 of 1 Lennar is building this home in the Richmond area.  Lennar is building this home in the Richmond area.  Photo: Bob Levey, Photographer Lennar reports weak first quarter in Houston 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Houston’s largest homebuilder said sales incentives were up and orders for …

Houston’s largest homebuilder said sales incentives were up and orders for new homes were down in this area during the first quarter, a result of the region’s weakening economy.

Miami-based Lennar Corp. reported a 3.5 percent decline in new home orders here with sales incentives averaging $33,800 per home, compared to $22,400 a year earlier, the publicly traded builder said in a quarterly report filed Wednesday. Lennar’s first quarter ended Feb. 29.

For years, Lennar/Village Builders has sold more homes in the Houston area than its competition. Last year it had an 8.2 percent market share according to the Chronicle 100 survey of Houston’s most active builders.

Revenue from home sales was up 25 percent in the first quarter to $1.8 billion from $1.4 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Lennar breaks out its homebuilding activities into four segments nationally: East, Central, West and Houston.

Home deliveries increased among all its homebuilding segments except Houston, primarily due to less demand “driven by volatility in the energy sector,” the company said.

Home sales revenue in its Houston region was up during the quarter as a result of an increase in the average sales price of homes delivered. Earnings, however, fell 24 percent.

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