I'm working the Bank of America home building conference in New York today, moderating the lunch panel and sitting in on presentations by the major builders.
Centex is going now, discussing how they've completely changed the business model from real estate developer to home manufacturer.
"You won't see Centex as a spec builder anymore," a company exec just said. They are downsizing and centralizing (the latter seeming counterintuitive given that real estate is local). They are very up front about how they're reducing the size of the company, the balance sheet and the markets they're in, as they "chase an increasingly weak market."
One interesting note: Centex Senior VP Larry Angelilli says that for the first time in his long tenure in this business he is seeing new homes compete with foreclosed homes. Usually that's apples and oranges, but so many foreclosures now are actually new homes that investors bought to flip and never actually occupied.
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