The largest homebuilder in the country is homing in on the Richmond market.
Texas-based D.R. Horton, a $14 billion company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is extending its reach to Central Virginia, with its sights apparently set squarely on Midlothian.
Eight job postings on the company’s website last month specify “Virginia-Midlothian” as the location for the positions, which range from land acquisition and construction managers to a marketing coordinator and sales positions.
Jessica Hansen, vice president of investor relations and communications, confirmed the company is expanding to the Richmond area, extending its presence from Northern Virginia, where it has an office in McLean. The office is one of 61 that make up the company, which is active in 79 metros in 26 states.
“We are looking forward to expanding into Southern Virginia,” Hansen said in an email, adding that it expects to close on its first Richmond-area land deal in January. She declined further comment until that deal closes.
With $14.1 billion in revenue last fiscal year, D.R. Horton is the largest homebuilder in the U.S. measured by revenue and number of homes closed. It has been ranked the country’s biggest homebuilder by Builder Magazine since 2002.
Founded in 1978, it was listed on the NYSE in 1992 under the ticker symbol “DHI.” The company’s stock was trading at $49.81 per share at market close Wednesday.
With a family of brands that includes Emerald Homes, Express Homes, Freedom Homes and Pacific Ridge Homes, D.R. Horton focuses primarily on single-family homes for entry-level homebuyers and first-time movers.
Homes range in size from 1,000 to upwards of 4,000 square feet, at prices ranging from $100,000 to $1 million and higher. For the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, D.R. Horton’s brands sold more than 45,700 homes, with an average closing price of $298,400, according to the company’s SEC filings.
Danna Markland, CEO of the Home Building Association of Richmond, said the firm’s arrival speaks highly about the local homebuilding market.
“Builders are looking at Richmond as being one of the hottest markets, and this is proof,” Markland said.
Building activity in the area has steadily increased as more builders vie for a piece of the action. Data from Integra Realty Resources-Richmond shows the number of residential building permits issues in the Richmond area in the first half of 2017 jumped 13 percent over the same period last year, with 2,294 permits issued from January to July, compared to 2,026 the first half of 2016 and 1,698 the first half of 2013. In the past decade, permit numbers were highest in 2006 with 3,083 and lowest in 2009 with 913.
New home closings from January to June this year totaled 1,613 with an average sale price of $374,302 – a 26 percent increase in closings over the same period last year.
D.R. Horton follows other relative newcomers to the Richmond homebuilding market, including Reston-based Stanley Martin Homes, which arrived in 2014, and Delaware-based Schell Brothers, which expanded here last year.
Shane Burnette, division president for Schell Brothers and vice president of HBAR’s board of directors, said D.R. Horton has joined HBAR’s membership and had representation at an event last week.
“If the largest homebuilder in the country has decided to remobilize and come to Richmond,” Burnette said, “I think that shows Richmond’s on the map.”