Home sales are ‘strongest’ in Texas, Arizona and other coronavirus hot spots, Taylor Morrison CEO says

Real Estate

Homebuilder Taylor Morrison posted record sales last month and saw the best output come from coronavirus hot-spot states, CEO Sheryl Palmer told CNBC on Wednesday.

Home sales for the company nearly doubled in the month of June.

“We have seen, if you think about the states that I think have gotten, you know, the most air time with the rise in cases — that would be Arizona, Texas, Florida, California — that’s where we’re seeing some of our strongest sales,” she said in an interview on “Closing Bell.” ”Interestingly enough, we might be seeing a reduction in foot traffic but we’re seeing tremendous increase in web traffic.”

Taylor Morrison, the fifth-largest home construction company in America, saw net sales surge 94% from a year ago as a low supply of homes was met by a boatload of buyers empowered by low mortgage rates. Based in Arizona, Taylor Morrison deals in 22 housing markets in nearly a dozen states in the Southeast, Southwest and West.

Taylor Morrison added to its portfolio with the acquisition of California-based William Lyon Homes in February.

On Tuesday, Texas reported a fresh record of 10,000 new Covid-19 cases and continued to grapple with rising hospitalizations. The situation there is now reaching levels that New York state, which was once the epicenter in the U.S., saw in early April.

California, Arizona and Florida have also seen a surge in cases. The states, along with Texas, cumulatively counted for nearly half of all new case counts in the U.S. on Tuesday.

In April, Taylor Morrison began experimenting with virtual appointments, where prospective buyers can tour properties from their couch. The company completed 8,000 online appointments in the last three months and it’s an indicator for the state of the market, Palmer said.

“The interesting thing is they’re finding a different way to connect with us and, you know, it’s about time” for the industry to adopt the new technology, she explained. ”I call this the Covid silver lining, that it’s really allowed our industry to catch up and make sure that we’re communicating with customers.”

Taylor Morrison saw newly built home sales drop in March when the virus, which was discovered in China in December, was first diagnosed in the U.S. Sales would rebound 13% year over year in May.

Shares of the company spiked almost 17% to $22.12 during Wednesday’s session and were up 4% in the aftermarket.

The stock is now up 1% from the start of the year and remains about $6 off its highest trade, in February prior to the major market meltdown.

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