Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Pulte Homes
What sort of amenities or special incentives should developers offer next year? Closing costs for the first-time buyers and guarantee purchases or rents for those who currently own homes.
What will buyers be looking for in new construction next year? What sort of things will make them interested in new construction? Buyers are looking for new construction closer to the city, work or Metra. They are more interested in smaller communities where there is an end in sight, not a sea of lots. Many buyers appreciate smart homes with technology and energy efficiency you can’t easily get in existing homes.
For Pulte, do you see sales increasing, decreasing or staying the same? Our sign plan for 2012 is the same as 2011, but I believe it will be slightly higher. We are opening new communities in Glenview, Naperville and Park Ridge that should be extremely successful.
Will certain property types increase or decrease next year? I don’t think we will experience any decreases. Some of those communities we’ve struggled with the past four years are either repositioned, impaired or closing out. Other than our new communities in Glenview, Naperville and Park Ridge, I believe our Del Webb brand will see better results in 2012. Regarding Del Webb, we’ve worked hard designing slightly smaller plans that are more efficiently constructed so that we can offer more competitive pricing.
Do you think new players or merging development companies will enter the market next year? Other than Ryan Homes, I don’t see any other national builders entering the Chicagoland market. I still think it’s difficult for smaller builders to obtain financing, which could limit their ability to start up or re-enter the Chicago housing market.
What does Pulte have planned for 2012? We believe it’s going to be a better year than 2011. We have a major focus on acquiring smaller, developed, bank-owned lots. We have always partnered with Realtors, but in 2012, there will be even more of a concerted effort to reach out and increase that business. This year, 40 percent of our sign-ups were a direct result of a Realtor co-op. Our goal for 2012 is to increase our Realtor participation to 50 percent.