Global Policy Forum

Luxury Home Builder Reports a Revenue Gain of 41%

While the economic crisis has harmed millions of ordinary citizens, the wealthy have enjoyed a housing boom of their own. Toll Brothers, the largest US luxury home builder is reporting record profits, claiming that it is enjoying the most sustained demand for luxury homes in over five years. Since the housing bubble collapse in 2008, millions of US homes were lost to foreclosures, leaving home owners very vulnerable. Inequality is an increasingly widespread issue that is clearly visible in the case of the housing market. 

August 22, 2012


Toll Brothers, the largest luxury home builder in the United States, reported its highest revenue since the recession of 2008, underlining the recovery in the housing market and sending its shares to a five-year high.

The company, which focuses on affluent customers who typically make at least $100,000 a year and have spotless credit records, reported an increase in orders and forecast higher revenue for the full year.

“We are enjoying the most sustained demand we have experienced in over five years,” Toll’s chief executive, Douglas C. Yearley Jr., said in a statement. “The housing recovery is being driven by pent-up demand, very low interest rates and attractively priced homes.”

The housing market, which fell into a deep rut six years ago prompting a recession, has been recovering this year. Home sales have risen, helped by higher rental rates and low inventory.

Home resales rose in July as low interest rates and a modest improvement in the labor market helped home buying conditions, the National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday.

Other home builders, such as D.R. Horton and the PulteGroup have reported strong results.

“Housing is on the mend,” Toll’s executive chairman, Robert I. Toll, said.

The company said it was gaining market share as small and midsize private builders, its primary rivals, are strained for capital.

Toll is the only publicly traded luxury home builder.

“The pace of our contract growth has far exceeded the national housing data as we are gaining market share,” Mr. Yearley said.

Toll’s net signed contracts rose 57 percent to 1,119 units during May-July. Backlog jumped 59 percent to $1.62 billion.

Mr. Yearley said Toll’s nonbinding reservation deposits, an indication of future contracts, increased 59 percent in the first three weeks of the fourth quarter.

The company forecast home-sale revenue of $1.71 billion to $1.84 billion for 2012. It raised the lower end of its full-year home delivery outlook range by 300 units to 3,000. It expects to deliver up to 3,200 units.

Toll’s profit rose to $61.6 million, or 36 cents a share, from $42.1 million, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue in the period, which ended July 31 and was the third quarter of Toll Brothers’ fiscal year, increased 41 percent, to $554.3 million from $394.3 million.

Stock in Toll, which is based in Horsham, Pa., rose $1.20, or 3.8 percent, to $33.01 a share.


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