Housing Construction More and More Frequently the Product of Two Companies

The history of U.S. housing construction has traditionally been the story of many companies building a few homes a year. Now two companies alone are out-building the rest of the top ten homebuilders combined.

2 minute read

April 20, 2022, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Single-Family Housing Construction

Irina Mos / Shutterstock

The history of U.S. housing construction has traditionally been the story of many companies building a few homes a year. Now two companies alone are out-building the rest of the top ten homebuilders combined.

Gopal Ahluwalia, Kermit Baker, and Kent Colton write for the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University to examine trends in the housing construction industry. The headlining finding of the report: a few homebuilders are responsible for the vast majority of new homes sold in the United States, with two companies in particular, Lennar and D.R. Horton, cornering more and more of the homebuilding industry.

In a new working paper titled “Concentration in the Homebuilding Industry: Trends, Strategies, and Prospects,” the researchers find that “[t]he 100 largest home builders in the US now account for about half of all new single-family home sales, up from just over a third two decades ago.” That market summary comes with a significant caveat: two companies, D.R. Horton and Lennar “were responsible for almost two-thirds of the gain in market share among the top 100 builders from 2002 to 2020.”

“As a result of this growth, these two firms now build more homes than the combined total of the nation’s third to tenth largest home builders,” add the authors. The trends are noteworthy, because “the homebuilding industry has traditionally been one of the most fragmented industries in the US economy.”

The source article, linked below, includes more data and infographics to introduce the working paper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 in Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Green meadow with water running through and trees on either side in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Meadow Undergoing Major Restoration

Rangeland recently acquired from private owners is being restored to a more natural state thanks to a purchase by the Trust for Public Land.

7 hours ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Large black SYV driving down city street with blurred background.

GAO to Investigate How Vehicle Design Impacts Safety

A lax set of rules around vehicle size, height, and other factors is partly responsible for the alarming rise in pedestrian deaths in the United States.

June 17 - Streetsblog USA

Worker in yellow safety suit holding up orange SLOW sign on road

New Orleans Faces $1 Billion Shortfall for FEMA-Funded Roadwork

After years of delays, cost overruns, and deadline extensions on a FEMA-funded street repair program, New Orleans officials face a massive funding shortfall and accusations of mismanagement.

June 17 - NOLA.com

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.