Despite recent reports about the death of the American starter home, D.R. Horton-the biggest home builder in the U.S.-has aggressively been rolling out its Express brand of entry-level homes nationwide, reports Joe Bousquin in Builder.
That Horton would launch a line of homes geared toward first-time buyers isn't surprising in itself, writes Bousquin. The company's ample ability to leverage economies of scale and streamline processes makes this something of a no-brainer. But it's doing so at a time when other builders have explicitly abandoned the first-time market, citing land costs, entitlements, and an uphill battle to generate profits at the low-end.
According to Bousquin, the rest of the industry has gone gaga for the move-up and luxury-end of the market. For Horton to sustain its momentum with Express, it will have to fight forces that have essentially have made the starter home a nonstarter for other builders. But if Horton succeeds, it may be a harbinger of things to come. Read more.