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Housing meltdown claims at least one homebuilder

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Year In Review

Two more local homebuilders fell victim in 2009 to the prolonged meltdown of the housing market.

Carmel-based C.P. Morgan Communities LP closed in February, and Indianapolis-based Hansen & Horn Group Inc. is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

In December, Hansen & Horn turned over control of the company to a court-appointed receiver, which will attempt to pay off debts.

C.P. Morgan built thousands of homes but couldn’t survive the downturn. (IBJ File Photo)

A judge’s order directed Rick Lux of R.P. Lux Co., an Indianapolis-based real estate services firm, to determine whether Hansen & Horn should remain in business, be partially liquidated, or completely liquidated. Lux is set to make his recommendation to the court Feb. 22.

A lawsuit brought by one of its suppliers, Indianapolis-based C&R Concrete Inc., prompted the receivership. C&R is seeking to recover $268,749 in concrete work done during the past three years.

In all, Hansen & Horn is facing at least 20 lawsuits brought mostly by subcontractors hoping to recover more than $1 million.

Hansen & Horn is building in more than 20 subdivisions in central Indiana, including Duke Realty Corp.’s mixed-use Anson development in Boone County near Whitestown.

The company has regularly ranked among the top residential construction companies in the Indianapolis area over the past decade, building more than 200 homes during several of those years.

That pales in comparison to C.P. Morgan’s output. It typically had ranked as the top builder in the city, constructing more than 2,000 tract-style homes during the housing boom earlier in the decade. By 2007, its production had been cut in half.

The residential market may be improving, however. Pending home sales in November rose 3.3 percent, compared with the same month a year ago. The increase was much smaller than it had been in the previous two months. Pending sales climbed 20.1 percent in October and 12 percent in September compared with the same periods in 2008.

Experts attribute the uptick to the new homebuyers’ law that extends an $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers that was to have expired in November. It now covers homes purchased or under contract through April 30 of next year. It also created a $6,500 tax break for homebuyers who lived in their previous residence at least five years.•

 

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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