Fourth site-build acquisition is biggest and boldest yet, and the surest sign yet of technology and innovation's growing momentum in delivering homes at more affordable prices.

  • Clayton Properties Group buys Oakwood Homes in a deal that closed Monday, July 3.
  • Oakwood is Clayton's 4th acquisition of a site-build home building operator, and the largest by far, of the deals, as well as the first one outside the Southeast region.
  • Oakwood, under founder and principal Pat Hamill, has been one of the more technologically innovative top 50 private home builders, adopting BIM and factory-panelization as core business model processes to deliver home buyers high quality, care, and satisfaction in fiercely competitive Front Range Colorado and Utah markets.
  • Oakwood owns 3,000 to 4,000 lots, but has control of 18,000, which allows for continued accelerated growth with the capital access the Clayton deal will provide.
  • In Oakwood, and with Pat Hamill and his team continuing to run and grow the company, Clayton sees a strong cultural fit as well as a company that can help it on its strategic mission to expand its buyer universe with a price-range sweet spot between its $150,000 top price for its manufactured homes, and prevailing entry-level single-family price points, which tend to exceed $225,000.

With the addition Denver-based Oakwood Homes, the BUILDER 100 No. 39-ranked builder based on 2016 closings, Clayton Properties Group's ongoing pursuit of a culturally sync-ed portfolio of site-build firms has just kicked it up a notch on the impact and implications scale.

The combination--with Berkshire Hathaway unit Clayton announcing today its acquisition of Oakwood, a 26-year-old private home building firm whose founder and principal Pat Hamill plans to stay on and continue to build the company to at least its next level of growth--is a bellwether deal on at least two levels.

First, while it's worthy to mention that as a Colorado-Utah regional-power player, Oakwood is, by far, the largest of Clayton's home building operator purchases, it also must be noted that it classically reflects the Warren Buffett-Berkshire Hathaway mode of investment in people and culture first.

"When we began chatting with Oakwood some time ago, we were struck by how well our cultures lined up; they're a smart, strong, innovative culture, and they do a magnificent job executing," Clayton Properties president Mike Rutherford told me as we discussed the purchase yesterday. "That's what takes time as we continue to look for potential additions to our plan; you have to find those cultures."

Read the rest of the article in Builder magazine by John McManus

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