It’s Official: The Top 15 Builders in the Top 50 Retirement Markets

Category: Retirement Real Estate

June 9, 2015 — We were very flattered recently to see a story from Builderonline.com, “The Top 15 Builders in 2015’s Retirement Magnets“, which used Topretirements’ “100 Most Popular Retirement Towns” as the starting point of its research. The online publication basically looked at our top 50 towns (chosen on the basis of visitor popularity on our site), and then determined which companies build the most homes in those markets. It was an intriguing idea with at least one very big surprise.

Quantity Built
Let’s start with a big surprise: the #10 builder is…. Habitat for Humanity. So at least we know from the beginning that there all kinds of builders in our 50 most popular retirement markets – not just those catering to the retirement set. The builder with the most closings in these markets is D.R. Horton, which had 3124 and 776 closings in 2014 and the 1Q 2015 respectively. Next highest was Pulte Homes, which tallied 2146 and 331 in those 2 periods. The top 5 made up 33.1% of the market share by closings in 2014 for all 50 towns. Most of the remaining 12 companies on the top 15 are household names in the active adult community sphere – Lennar, KB Home, WCI Communities, TRI Pointe, David Weekley, Meritage Homes, the Ryland Group, etc. Snagging the #15 spot on the list was the Ryland Group. Many of these companies are advertisers on Topretirements.com, which we greatly appreciate (and it’s a mystery to us why a few are not, given the fine people who visit this site!).

Pricing
Builderonline has an interesting chart that shows the number of closings and median selling price for each of the 15 builders. One of the things that it shows is the tremendous variation of price points among these companies. For example (not counting non-profit Habitat for Humanity), KB Home had the least expensive homes of the group with a median closing price of $212,700. Topping the list in the stratosphere was TRI Pointe Homes with its $1,000,000 median price. Six builders had a median price in the $200’s, while several were in the $400s.

See the full list
You can see the list of the top 15 at The Top 15 Builders in 2015’s Retirement Magnets.

Comments? Do you have any comments about this survey – if so please post them in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on June 8th, 2015

5 Comments »

  1. What I would like to know is which builder has the fewest complaints or lawsuits filed against them. Just because it’s a big company doesn’t necessarily mean they do the best work. Humans are involved after all.

    by Bob — June 10, 2015

  2. I’m interested in “Tiny Homes” less than 1000 sq. feet. Not mobile, prefab or converted buses, trailers etc but built on a foundation in warm climates. Why do over 55 plus or retirement communities have to have 1500 or more square feet? Or is the problem that builder’s don’t favor these homes because they are not money makers?

    by pat cooney — June 10, 2015

  3. Pat,

    I work for a national public builder, and yes, you are partially correct. The tiny homes are not as big of a money maker. If you think about what the real cost of building a home is, it is the kitchen and bathrooms. I think most 55+ buyers want 3 bedrooms or 2 bedrooms with an office space. Likely want 2 bathrooms as well. So, when you are building a kitchen and 2 bathrooms, the rest of the house, aside from electrical and HVAC, is just drywall and air, which is cheap. If you can get more square footage, many times there is more profit.

    On another note, I don’t think the market for tiny homes is very big (no pun intended). Our research shows that people don’t actually want less space, they just want less maintenance. So I think the sweetspot for a lot of these homes is actually around 1800-2000 SF, so long as they can be easily maintained, by having communities that take care of the outside work and landscape maintenance. In my experience, people who have lived in larger houses don’t want to downsize that much….for instance, my parents and many of their age ~60 friends live in ~3500-4000 SF homes from when they had kids, and now they are looking for 2500-3000. It all depends on where you are coming from. In the south, people tend to live on larger lots with bigger homes. Downsizing is all relative.

    by Max — June 11, 2015

  4. I have a D.R. Horton home in North Carolina. Nice house but very bad customer service from D. R. Horton! Once you close it takes them a long time to resolve issues. If anyone is buying a house built by them I would recommend that you get all issues with the house resolved before you close. Once they have your money they take their time resolving your problems.

    by Maria — June 11, 2015

  5. For finding complaints, simply google the builder’s name + complaints. Or go to http://www.consumer affairs.com/housing and surf. Just remember that you’re getting onlyl the negatives.

    by OldNassau — June 17, 2015

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