UBS Upgrades Pulte

Pulte Homes’ stock has taken a beating lately.  It’s not a surprise given the ongoing challenges in the housing market as confirmed again yesterday with the NAHB Home Builders Index remaining very weak.

UBS just upgraded Pulte.  The stock has dropped by 45% recently but of course is rising on the UBS upgrade.  I suspect UBS owns enough of stock now that it can pump up the price.

Fitch Downgrades PulteGroup’s Debt – Sites Uncertain Housing Market

Pulte Homes logo
Image via Wikipedia

PulteGroup’s debt is a long way from being triple A so it may not come as a surprise that Fitch Ratings Agency downgraded PulteGroup’s debt from BB+ to BB.

The Fitch analysts noted, “(Pulte’s) underperformance relative to its peers in certain operational and financial categories penalizes the ratings and influences the outlook.”

While there have been signs of improvement, Pulte, like many other home builders, are at the mercy of a recovering economy.

In the Twin Cities western suburbs, Pulte is building a couple of very nice neighborhoods in Plymouth, MN – Elm Creek Highlands as well as the more upscale and luxurious The Willows neighborhood.

Plymouth MN Planning Commission Meeting – Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 7pm

The Plymouth Planning Commission is meeting tonight at 7pm at the Plymouth city offices located at 3400 Plymouth Blvd, Plymouth, MN.  It doesn’t appear to be anything particularly big on the agenda, but you can find the agenda here along with the transcript from the previous meeting.  (Note, that link will open up an 83 page pdf).

Here’s the link to the main City of Plymouth MN Planning Commission page.


Plymouth, MN Upper Bracket Home Sellers Conundrum

What to do if you’re an upper bracket home owner in Plymouth, MN.  Upper bracket home sellers who own properties built before 2000 and are listed between $499,000 – $800,000 are not having an easy time selling in Plymouth.  The new construction build out is causing lots of challenges.

Based upon a search of the NorthstarMLS system this morning, the supply and demand ratios look pretty healthy in Plymouth in this price range, but are they really?  Currently there are 64 homes for sale in Plymouth priced between $499-$800.  There are 32 homes that are pending.  That means there is roughly only a 2 month supply of houses, right?  Here’s the problem:

Active homes for sale in Plymouth, MN priced between $499-$800k as of 8-8-11:

  • 64 homes for sale and the year they were built
  • 28 – 2011
  • 2 – 2010
  • 2 – 2008
  • 2 – 2007
  • 1 – 2000
  • 29 – built prior to 2000
  • 32 homes are pending (i.e. they are under contract but have not closed yet)
    • 1 – 1958
    • 1 – 1965
    • 1 – 1993
    • 1 – 2004
    • 1 – 2006
    • 1 – 2010
    • 26 – 2011

    If you own an older home in Plymouth, MN priced between $499-$800k, there is a 10 month supply of houses for sale.  How do you overcome this?  You need to offer a much better value proposition to the marketplace.  Either spend quite a bit of money making improvements and updates or take a significant price reduction – or possibly both.

    Perhaps you are hanging on to your price for good, legitimate reasons, but the market is very unforgiving.  It doesn’t really care what your reasons are.  Perhaps you’re getting in the way or your home selling or perhaps you’re not getting the same kind of frank and honest discussion or analysis from your agent.  Either way, you need to make some changes if you want to sell.  In all likelihood your agent has been telling you to get your price down or make improvements.

    The market trends are still pointing to lower prices next year especially for larger, more expensive properties.  We have not seen any facts yet that demonstrates the market has turned in terms of price.  Homes in Plymouth priced between $200-$300k may have stopped going down in price but that doesn’t appear to be the case for upper bracket older housing stock.

    If you’re currently listed, it’s time to have a real conversation with your agent regarding what must be done to sell your home.  If you’re thinking of selling and want an honest and fresh opinion, please give me a call at 763-443-9821.

    Pulte Posts Loss on Debt Restructuring – Housing Is Stabilizing

    Pulte is one of the nation’s largest home builders and they have a big presence here in the Twin Cities.  They just released this quarter’s results and showed a loss compared to a profit a year ago.  However, most of the loss came from restructuring and they expect to be  profitable in the second half of 2011.

    Based upon reading through the release and the Housing Wire story on Pulte’s earnings, it does sound like things are going as they expected.  There’s no further significant deterioration of the housing market.  Average home selling prices declined by just 1% compared to a year ago to $248,000.

    Last month, competitor, Lennar Corporation, posted better than expected earnings however they continue to outperform in part because of the money they are making purchasing and monetizing distressed debt.