News

Cancellations rise at Toll Brothers

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The CEO of the nation’s largest builder of luxury homes called on the federal government this week to shift its rescue efforts to the housing market, calling it “the root of the current financial crisis.” Robert Toll, chairman and CEO of Toll Brothers, also warned that “hundreds of billions of dollars to reset mortgages, help people who are in foreclosure and protect those who have been the victims of rapacious lending practices … will have been wasted” if Congress doesn’t act soon to stimulate home buyer demand with tax credits and other incentives.

The chief executive’s comments were part of Toll Brothers’s preliminary fourth-quarter and year-end results, released on Nov. 11. The Horsham, Pa., production builder reported net contracts for 539 units for the fourth quarter, down 27 percent from the same quarter in 2007. Backlog at the end of the quarter, which closed on Oct. 31, was approximately 2,046 homes. This compares to a fourth-quarter backlog of 3,950 homes in 2007.

Cancellations in the fourth quarter of 2008 totaled 233, about 30 percent of the quarter’s contracts. According to Toll, the economic turmoil on Wall Street and its ripple effect — consumer fears over job losses, plummeting stock market values and credit market disruptions — contributed to the cancellations.

The company’s preliminary year-end figures indicate revenues of $3.15 billion, producing 4,743 units, a 32 percent decrease from fiscal 2007, when Toll Brothers reported revenues of $4.64 billion, delivering 6,687 units.

Slower sales have resulted in a reduction in the number of communities in which Toll Brothers operates. The company ended fiscal 2008 with 273 selling communities, down from 315 communities the previous fiscal year. Toll Brothers said it expects to end fiscal 2009 with 255 or fewer communities.

The company will announce final fourth-quarter and full-year results on Dec. 4, 2008.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?
News

Remodeling Market Index down in Q3

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The residential remodeling market continued to decline during the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI). The market conditions indicator stands at 33.5, down from 41.8 in the last quarter. Future expectations of remodeling work also declined to 27.7, from 38.0 in the second quarter. Both are at historic lows since the start of the RMI in 2001.

The RMI measures remodeler perceptions of market demand for current and future residential remodeling projects. A number over 50 indicates that the majority of remodelers view market conditions as improving. The RMI has been below 50 since the last quarter of 2005.

The remodeling market is tightening because more home builders are taking on remodeling work, which creates a more competitive marketplace.

“Remodelers reported another drop in major home improvements, and expectations for future work have also declined,” said NAHB Remodelers chairman Lonny Rutherford, a remodeler from Farmington, N.M. “A slight increase in minor remodeling projects for owner-occupied homes suggests customers are cutting back on home improvement spending.”

“The remodeling market declines follow the pattern of the home building slow down to a lesser degree,” added NAHB chief economist David Seiders.

In the South, the RMI dropped to 31.5, from 40.1 in the second quarter; the Midwest to 36.2, from 52.9; and the West to 36.1, from 42.4. The Northeast increased slightly to 32.9, from 32.8; and the Midwest increased to 52.9, from 44.1.

The special questions section asked remodelers about energy-efficient products, which found more customer calls to improve home energy efficiency since the question was asked in the third quarter of 2006 (up to 26 percent from 24 percent). Low-energy windows are the top customer request, 50 percent of remodelers installed water-saving faucets and fixtures (up from 36 percent), and 38 percent installed on-demand water heaters (up from 29 percent).

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?
News

Do it Best vendors contribute to Habitat for Humanity

BY HBSDEALER Staff

More than 100 vendors that exhibited at the Do it Best October Market in Indianapolis donated a combined $170,940 in cash and new or like-new merchandise to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, the Fort-Wayne, Ind.-based co-op announced.

Much of the donated merchandise — including windows, doors, flooring, patio furniture, lights, retail fixtures and more — helps stock Habitat for Humanity ReStores, which sell quality products to the general public and funnel profits into future projects.

“Each time the Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County ReStores are able to participate in the Do it Best market, we are in awe of the enormous generosity of Do it Best Corp. and the participating vendors,” said Vivian Bolen, ReStore manager in St. Joseph County, Ind. “This is the one chance we get to have new items in our ReStores, and those items are important to us in sustaining our customers so they keep coming in.”

“We are now in our third year as a ReStore, and without the support that Do it Best Corp. and their vendors provide with the fantastic donations, we would have a much harder time making it work for Habitat for Humanity-Clinton County, Ohio,” said Bob Schaad, treasurer for the Clinton County, Ohio, organization. “Over the years, the donations have given our Habitat at least $25,000 in additional income, which represents about half of a house.”

In 2004, Do it Best named Habitat for Humanity its corporate cause of choice and partners with Habitat throughout the year. Since initiating this affiliation, Do it Best members and vendors have donated $1.8 million to Habitat for Humanity.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

POLLS

How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?