Growth

Home sales are slowing nationwide, so why is Arlington’s D.R. Horton expanding?

**FILE** In this Feb. 2, 2008 file photo, a D.R. Horton home builder sign in a new development in seen Frisco, Texas. The Fort Worth, Texas-based home builder on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 reported a nearly $800 million loss in its fiscal fourth quarter on slower home sales and more than $1 billion in charges amid a troubled housing market, which its chief executive said will be more challenging in fiscal year 2009. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, file) ORG XMIT: DN203
**FILE** In this Feb. 2, 2008 file photo, a D.R. Horton home builder sign in a new development in seen Frisco, Texas. The Fort Worth, Texas-based home builder on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 reported a nearly $800 million loss in its fiscal fourth quarter on slower home sales and more than $1 billion in charges amid a troubled housing market, which its chief executive said will be more challenging in fiscal year 2009. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, file) ORG XMIT: DN203 AP

D.R. Horton Inc. is already the nation’s largest home builder, and it’s getting bigger.

The Arlington-based company has bought three residential construction companies in recent weeks to expand its reach in other states.

The most recent purchase was announced Thursday, when D.R. Horton disclosed a $62 million deal to buy Terramor Homes, which is one of the top five builders in Raleigh, N.C.

“Their quality building operations and local market expertise make Terramor an excellent extension as we strengthen our local market position in Raleigh and the surrounding markets,” Donald R. Horton, board chairman, said in an email.

Earlier this month, D.R. Horton bought Classic Builders, the largest builder in Des Moines, Iowa. And in November, the company bought Westport Homes, which is a big player in Indiana and Ohio.

New home sales may be slowing nationwide — and even in North Texas’ red hot real estate market — but D.R. Horton seems to have no qualms about expanding. The moves strengthen D.R. Horton’s position as a leading builder of entry-level homes, according to Builder magazine.

In all, the three companies bought by D.R. Horton accounted for 1,400 homes and $400 million in revenue during the past 12 months, according to Builder.

D.R. Horton, Inc., America’s Builder, boasts that it is the largest home builder by volume in the United States, since 2002. The company was founded in 1978 in Fort Worth, and moved its headquarters to Arlington last year.

D.R. Horton works in 83 markets in 28 states, and closed on 51,857 homes during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to company data.

With brands that include D.R. Horton, Emerald Homes, Express Homes and Freedom Homes, the company offers houses with prices that range from $100,000 to more than $1,000,000.

Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.
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