All of a sudden, the ads in the paper show special mortgage deals, special incentives. That's an absolute indicator that the market has softened.
Selling homes this first quarter was certainly more difficult than one year ago. We experienced softening demand, to varying degrees, in a number of markets and continue to be constrained by long delivery times at many of our communities.
Demand at our communities, which began to soften in early September, now appears to be improving, although demand pressure from speculators has certainly passed.
Considering that we began this fiscal year impacted by a national recession and the tragedies of Sept. 11, fiscal 2002 has certainly exceeded our expectations.,
Taking longer to make their purchase decision.
Since Katrina, instead of going up $5,000 or $10,000 every week or two, we have been limited to no price increases or very limited price increases.
Overcoming tight labor markets in many regions and the hurricanes' impact in the southeast, we surpassed our expectations for fourth quarter home deliveries. We produced over $2bn in revenues this quarter, which exceeded our entire year's production just five years ago.
The shortage of selling communities, coupled with some softening of demand in a number of markets, negatively impacted our contract results. It appears we may be entering a period of more moderate home price increases, more typical of the past decade than the past two years.
What you see is the bureaucracy doing the bidding of the representatives, which are doing the bidding of the electorate.