KB Home, the Los Angeles builder that became the first national homebuilder to enter the metro area after Katrina, said today that it will not make any future investment in the state. The company will complete the housing projects it already has underway within about seven months.
KB’s decision to curtail future investment in Louisiana again raises questions about when or if a housing boom will occur in the area.
“We will not be purchasing any more land or building any new projects in New Orleans or Baton Rouge,” Clint Szubinski, president of the company’s Gulf Coast Division said. “We just decided we can’t look to the future anymore at this point.”
Szubinski said Louisiana doesn’t fit with KB’s business model, which requires that it operate in markets with high permit activity and a high volume of new home construction.
The number of permits issued for new single-family homes in the metro area this year actually is on track to surpass pre-Katrina levels, according to the Census Bureau. About 622 permits per month on average were issued in the metro area this year, compared with 535 in 2004.
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