L.A. County home sales were strong throughout 2001, despite the recessed local and national economies.
The proof is in the numbers reported by the county’s top 25 residential real estate developers. Combined, they sold 5,690 homes in 2001, up more than 9 percent from the previous year’s 5,198. The sector’s relatively strong performance can be attributed largely to low interest rates fueling demand in a tight market.
Back on top is KB Homes, which slipped to second place on last year’s list behind Centex Homes, now third.
Forecast Homes’ performance outpaced Centex’s, earning it second place on this year’s list. The company, which develops single family entry level homes in master-planned communities, experienced record growth last year as it moved up from 11th place.
Curtis Development, more than doubling units sold to 157 in 2001, jumped five places to 16.
Most companies on the list are reporting similarly strong results for the year to date,as rates remain low and demand strong.
A”laser focused business strategy” on first time buyers and first-time upgraders, buoyed by low interest rates, helped KB Homes regain its top ranking among LA County’s most active residential real estate developers for 2001.
Los Angeles-based KB had lost its leadership spot the previous year to Centex Homes, which is now ranked third.
“Unlike the general economy, we were helped by a combination of external factors such as low interest rates, low supply and high demand,” said spokeswoman Debra Hotaling.
“What we are seeing are the fruits of a shift in the company’s business strategy which we embarked upon a few years ago,” explained Hotaling. “Key to that transformation is a business model designed to eliminate wasted inventory.”
KB Homes, which builds single-family homes starting at around $280,000, keeps inventory low by only starting construction after the home has been bought and by focusing on fast-growing markets like California, Texas, Florida and Arizona.