Tampa’s Top Builders Gaining Market Share

If you’re a small builder in Tampa you are likely wishing for a return to a market like the one from 2004.  No, I am not talking about easy sales, quickly rising prices and record building activity; I am talking about market share.  In 2004, the ten most active builders in Tampa accounted for about 45% of the housing starts, leaving more than half of the market for local builders, regional builders and even some late coming national builders.  This downturn has seen the Tampa market lose builders in each of these categories resulting in greater market share for the Top 10 builders.

The ten most active builders (new starts) for the rolling twelve month period that ended March 31, 2012, accounted for about two thirds of all new housing starts.  That’s an astonishing increase of nearly 50% in an eight year period.  If the corporate decree during the downturn was “Gain Marketshare,” the Top 10 builders have certainly executed well. Moreover, this group of builders is actively seeking to add community count and seem well prepared for the building recovery in the Tampa market.

As of our March 31, 2012 survey, there were 49 detached SF subdivisions starting at least twenty four homes per year (or two homes per month).  These 49 subdivisions accounted for 57.1% of all detached starts.  These subdivisions currently have just a 15.0 month supply of developed lots remaining and need to be replaced within the next twelve months.  So…the top 10 Builders are not just looking to add communities, but also to replace these top selling subdivisions.  This has placed a premium on land acquisition at a time when the market is just starting to rebound.  This dynamic has also placed a premium on market research as Tampa has a large supply of developed lots, but many of these are not A or B quality.  Because of stronger balance sheets, access to capital and more market research resources at their disposal, we expect the Top 10 builders to continue to gain market share in Tampa over the next few years.