As the country’s largest homebuilder, Lennar is part of a very exclusive club. Like Apple and Amazon, which can impact entire industries with a single strategic move, Lennar’s behavior reverberates across the entire homebuilding landscape. So when the Miami-based firm announced in April that longtime CEO Stuart Miller was stepping down after more than 20 years as its steward, we got to wondering where the firm will head next. Reporter Keith Larsen’s profile reveals that newly crowned CEO Rick Beckwitt has his hands full, bringing freshly acquired CalAtlantic Homes into the fold while moving Lennar’s focus back to homebuilding after various diversification plays over the years. That renewed mission comes at a tricky time, as developers everywhere face rising construction costs.
As Lennar forges ahead, so too do the daring firms that make up our top condo developers ranking. Although major players such as Related and Swire are waiting out the end of this cycle, those filing permits for new projects insist that their condos won’t contribute to today’s overabundance of stock, since they’re either more affordably priced or scheduled to be delivered at the start of the next cycle.
One of the most interesting data sets in the issue is our look at how many unsold condos were left at projects that started closing sales last year. At the outset, we thought the analysis would paint a sad picture of the state of things, but as it turns out, most projects surveyed were at least 50 percent sold. See for yourself here.
Many of the developers wouldn’t have gotten to where they are this cycle without Bank of the Ozarks, which has funded roughly 27 percent of the condo construction loans that have gone to major Miami projects over the past five years. They’re gutsy, they’re always game, but are they destined to crash and burn?
Another highlight in the issue is our look at how resi brokerages are marketing to the out-of-towners who are desperate to escape the brutality of the new SALT deduction cap in high-tax states. They’re coming in droves, folks! Smart brokerages are leveraging their relationships with far-flung firms to win those clients.
And another not-to-miss read? Managing editor Ina Cordle’s delightfully candid interview with 13th Floor Investment’s Arnaud Karsenti, who, adorably, met his wife in fourth grade.
Enjoy the issue!