Beazer Homes USA builds for the middle-class buyer who's ready to make the move into the white-picket-fence scene. Building homes with an average price of about $219,000, the company courts the entry-level, move-up, and active adult markets. Beazer Homes USA focuses on high-growth regions in the East, Southeast, and West; it closed on some 3,350 homes in 2011. (For comparison's sake, it sold more than 7,500 homes in 2006.) Company design centers offer homebuyers limited customization for such features as appliances, cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, and wall coverings. Like most large homebuilders, Beazer subcontracts to build its homes. Prior to 2011, the firm provided title insurance services in some markets.
The company is active in certain markets in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In fiscal 2011 it exited its operations in Northwest Florida, due to difficulties in the housing market.
Beazer Homes USA has lost money every year since the housing bubble burst in 2007 and demand for homes has fallen. Like other builders, the company experienced a surge in home sales in 2010, thanks to a federal tax credit for first-time buyers. However, Beazer still ended the year in the red, losing $34.1 million. In 2011, as home sales slipped and cancellations grew, the company's revenues fell 26% to $742.4 million and net income fell to $204.9 million.
In response to its ongoing struggle to return to profitability, the company has exited certain home building markets, let go of staff, and re-engineered its home designs to cut construction costs and preserve liquidity. It is focusing on what it deems growth markets, where it hopes to ultimately reap the benefits of the recovering economy. (Numerous reports of a rebound in the housing market have been published as of late.) The firm has offered sales incentives to encourage new home buyers. Beazer has also begun buying pre-owned homes -- typically homes that have been foreclosed upon -- that it then fixes up and rents to tenants. – less