Homebuilder DR Horton tried to kill two birds with one stone this past weekend: unloading inventory and cleaning up the image of the housing market -- at least in a few towns in Southern California.
The company held what it called an “Un-Auction”: first-come, first-served home sales, with would-be bidders lining up overnight and for days on end, a la the fans who wait for concert and cult-movie tickets.
But as CNBC’s Jane Wells reported, these patient consumers toughed it out on line to get a shot at 30 percent discounts on new houses. One shopper was able to save some $130,000 on a new condominium. And DR Horton was able to sidestep the “messy fallout” of a standard auction.
Wells spoke to a couple who waited more than a decade to be able to afford their first home. At the sale, they nailed a property for $750,000 -- which was originally priced at $950,000.
- Video: watch Jane Wells report (1 min, 58 secs)
DR Horton – which reported losses of $128.8 million for its fiscal first quarter – seemed to reap the “Un-Auction” benefits Monday: its shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange gained as much as 3.45 percent as of this writing.
Shares of rivals across the board – including Lennar, Centex, Pulte Homes and Toll Brothers -- likewise gained.