Market caps more than doubled for 18 U.S. homebuilders since COVID hit

By Ashley Fahey | Phoenix Business Journal

The stock-market value of public homebuilders has grown sizably — make that by tens-of-billions-of-dollars — since the Covid-19 pandemic sent much of the U.S. economy reeling in early 2020.

The Business Journals analyzed the market capitalization of 22 public homebuilders and found all but four posted a market-cap increase of more than 100%, between March 16, 2020, and Oct. 25, 2021. Market cap measures the total value of a company’s stock and is derived from its publicly traded share price and the number of shares outstanding.

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: HOV), based in Matawan, New Jersey, topped the list by rate of growth. Even though it’s among the smallest of public builders, its market cap grew a staggering 1,207% since the pandemic, from $42.9 million in March 2020 to $560.9 million late last month.

Arlington, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) remains the largest homebuilder by market cap, with total stock valued at $31.7 billion as of late October. That was an increase of 176% from March 2020.

Ara Hovnanian, chairman, president and CEO of Hovnanian Enterprises, said during the company’s recent third-quarter earnings call the company’s sales pace jumped 75% from a historically normal pace in 2019, to what he called a white-hot pace in 2020.

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