Meck 2012 homebuilding already over 2011 levels

By: Tony Brown, Staff Writer//December 11, 2012//

Meck 2012 homebuilding already over 2011 levels

By: Tony Brown, Staff Writer//December 11, 2012//

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A Classica Homes house in the Christenbury Glen community in Concord. Classica made the Home Builders Association of Charlotte's list of top 30 homebuilders for the first 10 months of 2012. Photo courtesy of Classica Homes

CHARLOTTE — The speculation about a homebuilding surge in the Charlotte area has now been proven right with cold, hard data: Homebuilding activity in the first 10 months of 2012 has already surpassed the previous year.

According to just-released, year-to-date data compiled by the Home Builders Association of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County had issued 1,911 building permits worth $300.5 million as of Oct. 31 for the benchmark single-family detached house.

That already beats the 1,747 similar permits, worth $270.3 million, issued for all of 2011.

The data is not only cause for celebration among the homebuilding industry but also good for a little old-fashioned competition among builders in the county.

The latest data also show that as the year draws to a close, the race for king of the homebuilders in Mecklenburg County is going hammer and tongs between two national companies.

M/I Homes, based in Columbus, Ohio, remains well ahead of D.R. Horton of Fort Worth, Texas. But Horton appears to making a fourth-quarter rally.

As of the end of October, M/I was No. 1 for 2012, with 219 permits, worth nearly $34.8 million, issued by Mecklenburg County.

That’s well over Horton’s 181 permits worth nearly $26 million — at least for the moment.

Horton was showing the beginnings of a late-year surge by winning 25 permits worth nearly $3.1 million in October, while M/I languished in sixth place that month with it 14 permits worth $2.2 million.

Not surprisingly, so-called “production homebuilders,” national companies with satellite operations in Charlotte, dominate the top of the list.

Based on the value of permits issued, the top regional homebuilder in the 2012 race for hegemony in Charlotte is True Homes, which with offices in Monroe is locally owned. But since True’s recent expansion in Charleston, S.C., it is considered regional. The HBAOC report ranked True Homes the fourth-busiest builder in Mecklenburg so far this year, with nearly $21.5 million invested in 138 permits.

The other Carolinas-only builders in the top 10 as of October were the Charlotte-based Regent Homes (No. 8, with $16.4 million in 143 permits) and Eastwood Homes (No. 10, with $10.6 million invested in 91 permits).

The leader among local homebuilders — those that regularly operate almost exclusively within the Carolina Multiple Listing Services area — is Oakmont Builders, a Charlotte-based company owned by Judson Stringfellow and which specializes in building affordable homes.

Other local builders on the HBAOC top 30 list for the first 10 months of 2012 include Matthews-based Bonterra Homes and Live Well Homes, Saussy Burbank and Classica Homes, all based in Charlotte.

The homebuilders on the top 10 list, based on value of permits issued, for the first 10 months of 2012:

    1. M/I Homes
    2. D.R. Horton
    3. Pulte Homes
    4. True Homes
    5. Ryan Homes
    6. Mattamy Homes
    7. Lennar Corp.
    8. Regent Homes
    9. Standard Pacific
    10. Eastwood Homes

Tony Brown can be reached at [email protected], (704) 247-2912 or on Twitter at @tonymecktimes.

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