LGIH announced 172 homes closed in January, compared to 232 home closings in January a year ago.
Although January closings were down year over year, they said that sales are off to a strong start in 2017 and demand for homeownership remains solid. They believe they are still on track to close more than 4,700 homes this year. Now that means averaging over 410 closings per month for the next 11 months. They didn’t reduce their guidance a bit.
So what’s going on? Where is all that optimism coming from, with such a bad January? Here’s the key to understanding it: They had said previously that:
January and February closings will be substantially lower because closings in Jan and Feb are based on sales that were made between November 15 and Jan 15, which includes Thanksgiving, Xmas, and New Years holidays. So historically December is very strong and then January and February are weaker for closings.
That’s crystal-clear, isn’t it? If they SELL a house today, it’s about six weeks for the actual CLOSING!
Now this past year, from Nov 15 to Dec 15, after the elections, the country was in shock. No one was thinking about buying a house. In fact, about half the population were more talking about moving to Canada than about buying new houses, so SALES of houses were really down. But these were the sales that CLOSED in January, so January closings were way down.
But what the company is saying NOW is that although closings in January, of sales from late Nov and early Dec, were way down, SALES in January were REALLY UP, so they are happy with their estimates for closings for the year, in spite of those slow Jan closings, which mean nothing going forward.
I bought as much as I could afford to add near the opening at an average price of $27.57. You can track me and see how well I did.