PulteGroup is pulling out of St. Louis, citing market conditions out of sync with the builder’s current focus on higher returns, STL News reported.
The builder plans to complete the nine communities in the region currently in the selling phase, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, likely by the end of next year. It will not move forward with 62 townhouses planned for the city’s Lafayette Square neighborhood that received preliminary approvals last week.
As a result of the move, Pulte will lay off more than 20 local employees when its departure process is complete at the end of 2018.
Pulte’s St. Louis announcement is the second significant move by the company this week intending to aid its new focus on higher returns on investment capital. The company disclosed plans on May 8 to sell off around 4,600 underutilized lots.
Though Pulte, one of the country’s largest homebuilders, has determined St. Louis isn’t a fit for its new-home portfolio, the market for existing homes there is hot, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Listing inventory levels in the area are under three months.
A recent study by HomeUnion ranked St. Louis the best city for millennials to buy a home, based on characteristics including schools, commute times and home affordability relative to median income. Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker Report last fall found St. Louis to be the third-most popular city for that generation, with millennials making 42% of home purchases there.
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