construction, economy, housing, nikkei, tax

Quake Rebuilding, Green Features Buoy Homebuilder Earnings, nikkei, 2/11/12

OSAKA (Nikkei)–Homebuilders logged solid gains in their pretax results during the April-December period, lifted by brisk demand for eco-friendly homes and a pickup in orders after the March 2011 earthquake disaster.

Daiwa House Industry Co.’s (1925) group pretax profit for the nine months ended Dec. 31 rose 20% on the year, achieving 90% of full-term guidance.

Sales from single-family home construction climbed 4% to 248 billion yen. Orders were brisk for environmentally friendly homes equipped with solar panels, storage batteries and other value-added features.

Construction of temporary housing in areas hardest hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake also buoyed Daiwa House’s sales, offsetting higher costs resulting from a jump in material prices and personnel costs.

Misawa Homes Co.’s (1722) pretax profit shot up 180% as home sales in the quake-hit Tohoku region and elsewhere picked up steam. An increase in residences installing solar power systems and other features helped lift the average unit price per home.

Mitsui Home Co. (1868) narrowed its pretax loss for the April-December period from a year earlier, benefiting from demand for homes offering green features. Solar power systems were part of 50% of its newly constructed homes, up 15 percentage points or so.

Mitsui Home’s sales tend to be concentrated at the fiscal year-end because of its focus on custom-built homes, resulting in a pretax loss for the nine months ended Dec. 31. But it will likely log a pretax profit for the year through March.

Earnings gains are expected to continue at homebuilders across the board for the full year. The government’s plan to expand gift tax incentives to encourage home purchases may lift demand, while strong consumer interest in energy-saving homes will also support sales.

(The Nikkei Feb. 11 edition)

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About liz

from the u.s., recently moved from kobe to sendai, japan, researching community-based housing recovery after disaster.

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