The top ten publicly-traded builder share of new home closings declined as a share of total US new home sales to 23.9% in 2012 from 24.3% in 2011 and 26.9% in 2010. The top ten publicly-traded builders have been the same top ten throughout the most recent housing cycle. Collectively, they sold 87,893 homes according to their respective SEC 10K filings for 2012. The companies’ fiscal years vary, but the comparison was made against their prior year 10K filings for uniformity.
Their 23.9% share is out of the 368,000 new home sales reported by the Census Bureau for 2012. The publicly-traded companies possess many advantages in the recovery period including better access to credit from their own balance sheets, economies of scale in land and material purchases and advertising and land holdings. However, these national firms were and continue to be concentrated in some of the worst hit markets in the southwest and south, so demand in many of their prime markets has been slow to return. In May 2013, Hanley-Wood will report the BUILDER 100 rankings of builders for 2012 closings and more geographic detail will also be available.
In the meantime, the often held small builder concern that the large national companies will take share away has not occurred. The residential construction industry remains primarily a sector dominated by a large number of small entrepreneurs.