Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Grim Toll

Today Toll Brothers Inc., one of the nation’s largest home builders, release their preliminary fourth quarter and year ending results showing a substantial fall off in luxury home building and buying activities.

CEO Robert Toll had this to say:

“FY 2006 has certainly been a very tough and challenging year. It is worth noting that, atypically, this housing market is weak in an environment of low interest rates and low unemployment. We believe weak buyer confidence is keeping many customers on the sidelines.

We continue to look for signs that a recovery is imminent but can’t yet say that one is in sight.

The report revealed many significant declines in business activity as well as the company’s efforts to navigate the ever weakening housing market.

In the fourth quarter, the company further reduced its land holdings, dropping another 6500 land options, thus reducing the current inventory of lots owned or controlled by 18.8% to 74,000 from a peak of 91,200 lots in 2nd quarter 2006.

The company now expects to only deliver 6300 – 7300 homes in 2007 lowering its former forecast of 7000 - 8000 homes.

The report also revealed the following grim statistics:

Full Year

  • Signed contracts dropped 37.6% to $4.46 billion compared to $7.15 billion in 2005.
4th Quarter

  • Revenues dropped 9.9% to $1.81 billion as compared to $2.01 billion in 2005.
  • Ending blacklog dropped 25.2% to $4.49 billion compared to $6.01 billion in 2005.
  • Signed contracts dropped 55.3% to $710 million compared to $1.59 billion in 2005.
  • Cancellations totaled a "higher than normal" 585 with disproportionately high 14% coming from the Orlando Florida and 11% from Northern California.