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Oakwood Homes builds homes under new name

July 22, 2014 — In April, Oakwood Homes bought the portfolio of Utah-based Henry Walker Homes. According to the Denver Business Journal, remaining homes that will be built in Utah, along with homes in Longmont, Firestone, Dacono and Windosr, will be under the Jack Fisher Homes name.

Jack Fisher Homes will also build in Thornton's Cherry Lane, a 141-lot planned development; and another 23 lots in Longmont's Meadow View development. The homebuilder has a third neighborhood planned in Berthoud.

Buying most of Henry Walker Homes' assets helped leverage Oakwood Homes' ability to buy land for the upcoming three neighborhoods. As part of the deal, Oakwood Homes purchased the naming rights, which meant the remaining homes under Henry Walker Homes need to be built under a different name.

Tom Zieske, Colorado division president of Jack Fisher Homes, said that the new name and vision will enhance the homebuilder's operations. "The access to additional capital will allow us to continue to grow as we create great communities and innovative homes in the Denver market."

Jack Fisher Homes has more than 1,300 single family homes in its pipeline, in both Colorado and Utah. With sales of more than $70 million, the company expects to close on 230 homes this year — and plans to double both numbers next year. Read more...

Builder confidence up, industry strengthens

July 18, 2014 — Homebuilder confidence for newly built single family homes reached an important milestone this month, rising to 53, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Marketing Index. The West region registered a five point gain, to 52. 

"This is the first time that builder confidence has been above 50 since January," said NAHB Chair Kevin Kelly. "It's an important sign that the industry is strengthening as pent up demand brings more buyers into the marketplace."

NAHB's Chief Economist David Crowe observed that an improving market "goes hand in hand with a rise in builder confidence. As employment increases and those with jobs feel more secure about their own economic situation, they are more likely to feel comfortable about buying a home."

NAHB has been conducting a monthly survey for 30 years, which gauges homebuilder perceptions of current single family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months. Ranging from good, to fair to poor, the survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers (high, average, low). Scores are then tabulated from each component, then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index. Any number over 50 reflects more builders view conditions as good.

Nationally, the sales conditions piece rose four points, to 57; expectations for future sales rose six points, to 67; and gauging traffic of prospective homebuyers rose three points, to 39.

Taylor Morrison's Sheryl Palmer named an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist

July 17, 2014 — In the Denver Business Journal's 28th Mountain Desert Region's Entrepreneur of the Year awards, Sheryl Palmer was named a finalist in the Real Estate industry category. The CEO and President of Taylor Morrison Home Corp., stood out among many entrepreneurs as one who "demonstrates excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities," reported the Denver Business Journal.

Palmer fits the bill, and she learned from one of the best: Her mom. Palmer's mother was a successful clothing designer, and due to the nature of her mother's business, Palmer moved eight times before high school. And while she was in high school, Palmer traveled with her mother to China to visit manufacturers. As she told the DBJ, "I paid close attention and watched everything she did." She added that while her mother had hopes for her children taking over the business, Palmer wanted to make her own money and make her own mark in the world.

She attributes her success to a positive attitude, curiosity and perserverance — which was needed to move through the recent homebuilding industry downturn. "We had the facts in front of us and a lot of uncertainty and really unprecedented volatility, but we just worked hard on creating an organization that could be flexible enough to survive," Palmer told the DBJ. 

And while it was extraordinarily painful to lay off employees, she said to survive, she needed to build a cost-efficient structure. 

Everything that was done then has paid off. Taylor Morrison's sales jumped from $1.3 to $2.3 billion in sales from 2012 to 2013, and the number of employees nearly doubled, from 693 to 1,259. Read more...

Brookfield Homes wins Grand Award at PCBC

July 10, 2014 — Brookfield Residential won the Grand Award at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in San Francisco for its Signature 2 model in the north Denver community of Midtown at Clear Creek. Formerly named the Residential 2 model, the home was the Grand Award winner for best single family detached home under 2,000 sq ft. 

To give you an idea of the competition at PCBC, Brookfield Residential's home stood out among 600 entries. One judge said, "All too often, the outdoor space gets crafted out of what square footage remains after the house has been designed. This home takes the opposite approach; the courtyard gets top priority."

The Grand Award is Brookfield's tenth, since the homebuilder began building in Colorado at Midtown. What's more, the Signature 2 model has now made a clean sweep with awards, including the most prestigious industry awards from MAME, BALA and the Gold Nugget in the home's appropriate category. 

Perry Cadman, VP of Housing Operations for Brookfield, said, "We knew at the beginning of the design process, when we committed to integrating the outdoor space with the indoor space, that homebuyers would appreciate the end result. Now we know the judges appreciate it, too. And the Gold Nugget Grand Award gives us great satisfaction."


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