As the largest U.S. homebuilder since 2002, D.R. Horton will continue to pursue growth in the next fiscal year
By Abby Pittman
T’was the night before Pubby Awards, when all through the nation, not a builder was stirring… except D.R. Horton. Congratulations to the Builder of the Year, D.R. Horton! This award is well deserved, if not simply for the sheer number of houses that were built in 2018 (“During the company’s fiscal 2018 year, D.R. Horton welcomed over 50,000 homebuyers into their new homes throughout 81 markets in 27 states.,” Jessica Hansen, Vice President of Communications for D.R. Horton, Inc. stated in an exclusive interview with Builder and Developer Magazine), but for the sheer tenacity of how the company analyzes the market.
“It is the housing industry’s responsibility to remain innovative, and identify and respond to homebuyer preferences and needs,” Hansen said. “D.R. Horton is committed to adapting to the needs of our buyers and providing a variety of quality product offerings at affordable prices to accommodate all homebuyers throughout housing cycles.”
And remain innovative they have: D.R. Horton recently introduced its new smart home technology initiative, Home is Connected, that will soon be available nationwide. Every home from D.R. Horton and its family of brands will include a smart home system featuring a robust central hub that controls smart features such as thermostats, door locks, video doorbell and voice commands.
D.R. Horton has a long history of innovation and customer satisfaction – in fact, this year is D.R. Horton’s 40th anniversary of being America’s Builder and the largest builder since 2002. The company continues to bring its diverse product offerings to homebuyers in every stage of life across the United States and is excited to be expanding into new markets such as Richmond, Virginia; Spokane, Washington; Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Columbus, Ohio.
“We are proud to be the leading homebuilder by volume in 14 of the top 50 housing markets, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Atlanta, and Phoenix, and hold top 5 market share in 27 of the top 50 housing markets in calendar 2017,” Hansen detailed. “We continue to be excited about our growth across the country and notably in Phoenix, where we recaptured leading market share last year and grew our closings by 41 percent year-over-year.”
D.R. Horton will only continue to grow with their recently closed acquisition of Westport Homes, which closed in November of 2018. This deal will expand their footprint in the Midwest into the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio markets.
“As we begin our next fiscal year, D.R. Horton has publicly stated that we are actively pursuing select acquisitions of private homebuilders with very high-quality teams, and we expect to deploy approximately $400 million to $600 million of capital over the next year to complete these acquisitions,” Hansen said. “Our first step in executing on this plan is the acquisition of Westport Homes […] We welcome the Westport team to the D.R. Horton family.”
The key to this statement is D.R. Horton only accepts the highest quality teams – something they attribute to their success and practice within their own ranks. “In addition to having long-tenured, experienced, local teams, we attribute much of our success to our focus on providing a diverse product offering of homes for every stage in life across a broad geographic footprint,” Hansen explained.
Serving every market from first time buyers to active adults, “D.R. Horton is honored to be trusted by homebuyers in every stage of life,” Hansen said. In addition to their flagship D.R. Horton brand, they serve first-time and entry-level homebuyers with the Express Homes brand, luxury buyers with their Emerald Homes brand and active adults with the Freedom Homes brand. Additionally, multigenerational floor plans are available in select communities that typically feature a private secondary living and kitchen area to accommodate a variety of households according to Hansen.
The introduction of D.R. Horton’s Express, Emerald, and Freedom Homes brands reflects the company’s focus on responding to the evolving needs of homebuyers. “In the initial phase of the housing recovery, our Emerald Homes brand catered to the move-up and luxury buyers who were among the first to return to the market,” Hansen explained. “In 2014, we launched our Express Homes brand with a focus on providing affordable, entry-level homes to the first-time homebuyer – a segment of the market that has been underserved during the housing recovery. Following the success of Express Homes and recognizing its popularity with empty nesters and the Baby Boomer generation, we introduced our Freedom Homes brand in 2016, which offers low-maintenance homes for active adults at an attractive value. Additionally, our economies of scale enable us to pass along cost savings to our customers, resulting in greater value for homebuyers.”
Creating value for homebuyers is essential for this brand, and according to Hansen, homebuyers continue to be interested in amenity-rich neighborhoods that foster a sense of community and active lifestyle, including resort-style pools, community clubhouses, recreational activities and parks.
“D.R. Horton is proud to build in some of the most exciting new home communities across the country,” said Hansen. “From beachfront living on the coast to convenient country living with an emphasis on sustainable farming, to low-maintenance active adult communities, there really is something for everyone. Aside from attractive amenities, our homebuyers, especially first-time and entry- level, appreciate the value and affordability that D.R. Horton and its family of brands offers.”
Abby Pittman is the Editor of Builder and Developer Magazine. She may be reached at email@example.com.
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