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Lennar Corp  (LEN)
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    Sector  Capital Goods    Industry Construction Services

Lennar Corp

Business Description


We are one of the nation’s largest homebuilders and a provider of financial services. Our homebuilding operations include the sale and construction of single-family attached and detached homes, as well as the purchase, development and sale of residential land directly and through unconsolidated entities in which we have investments. Our financial services operations provide mortgage financing, title insurance, closing services and insurance agency services for both buyers of our homes and others. We sell substantially all of the loans that we originate in the secondary mortgage market. Through our financial services operations, we also provide high-speed Internet and cable television services to residents of communities we develop and to others.

We primarily sell single-family attached and detached homes in communities targeted to first-time, move-up and active adult homebuyers. We operate primarily under the Lennar and U.S. Home brand names and utilize a dual marketing strategy consisting of our Everything’s Included® and Design StudioSM programs.

In our homebuilding operations, we generally acquire land for development and for the construction of homes, which we sell to homebuyers. We also sell land to third parties. Land acquisitions are subject to strict underwriting criteria and may be made directly or through unconsolidated entities in which we have investments. Through unconsolidated entities, we reduce and share our risk by limiting the amount of our capital invested in land, while increasing our access to potential future homesites. Unconsolidated entities, in some instances, also help us acquire land to which we could not otherwise obtain access, or could not obtain access on as favorable terms, without the participation of a strategic partner. Our partners in these entities generally are unrelated homebuilders, land sellers or other real estate entities.

We offer a diversified line of homes for first-time, move-up and active adult homebuyers. With homes priced from under $100,000 to above $1,000,000 and available in a variety of environments ranging from urban infill communities to golf course communities, we are focused on providing homes for a wide spectrum of buyers. Our unique dual marketing strategy of Everything’s Included® and Design StudioSM provides customers with the flexibility to choose how they would like to purchase their new home. In our Everything’s Included® program, we make the homebuying experience simple by including desirable, top-of-the-line features as standard items. In our Design StudioSM program, we provide an individualized homebuying experience and personalized design consultation in our design studios, offering a diverse selection of upgrades and options for a new home. We sell our homes primarily from models that we have designed and constructed.

We employ sales associates who are paid salaries, commissions or both to complete on-site sales of homes. We also sell homes through independent brokers. We advertise our communities in newspapers and other local and regional publications, on billboards and through our website, www.lennar.com. Our website allows homebuyers to search for homes with specific design criteria in their price range and desired location. In addition, we advertise our active adult communities in areas where prospective active adult homebuyers live.

We have participated in charitable down-payment assistance programs for a small percentage of our homebuyers. Through these programs, we make a donation to a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to a homebuyer, who would not otherwise have sufficient funds for a down payment.

We provide a full spectrum of conventional, FHA-insured and VA-guaranteed, first and second lien residential mortgage loan products to our homebuyers and others through our financial services subsidiaries, Universal American Mortgage Company, LLC and Eagle Home Mortgage, Inc., in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. In 2004, our financial services subsidiaries provided loans to approximately 71% of our homebuyers who obtained mortgage financing in areas where we offered services. Because of the availability of mortgage loans from our financial services subsidiaries, as well as independent mortgage lenders, we believe access to financing has not been, and is not, a significant obstacle for most purchasers of our homes.

We provide title insurance and title and closing services to our homebuyers and others. We provided title and closing services for approximately 188,000 real estate transactions and issued approximately 185,000 title insurance policies during 2004 through subsidiaries of North American Title Group, Inc. Title and closing services are provided by agency subsidiaries in Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. North American Title Insurance Corporation in Florida, Illinois, Texas and Virginia and North American Title Insurance Company in Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada provide title insurance underwriting.

We provide high-speed Internet and cable television services to residents of our communities and others through subsidiaries of Strategic Holdings, Inc. doing business under the name Lennar Communications Ventures.

Competition

The residential homebuilding industry is highly competitive. We compete for homebuyers in each of the market regions where we operate with numerous national, regional and local builders, as well as with resales of existing homes and with the rental housing market. We compete for homebuyers on the basis of a number of interrelated factors including location, price, reputation, amenities, design, quality and financing. In addition to competition for homebuyers, we also compete with other homebuilders for desirable properties, raw materials and reliable, skilled labor. We compete for land buyers with third parties in our efforts to sell land to homebuilders and others. We believe we are competitive in the market regions where we operate primarily due to our:

Excellent land position, particularly in land-constrained markets, where we have increased the number of homesites we own and/or control;

Strong presence in some of the fastest growing homebuilding markets in the United States;

Balance sheet, where we continue to focus on liquidity while maintaining a strong capital structure; and

Dual marketing strategy consisting of our Everything’s Included® and Design StudioSM programs.

Our financial services operations compete with other mortgage lenders, including national, regional and local mortgage bankers and brokers, savings and loan associations and other financial institutions, in the origination and sale of mortgage loans. Principal competitive factors include interest rates and other features of mortgage loan products available to the consumer. We compete with other insurance agencies, including national, regional and local insurance agencies, in the sale of title insurance, homeowner insurance and related insurance services. Principal competitive factors include cost and other features of insurance products available to the consumer. We compete with other escrow companies and other title insurance agencies for closing services. Principal competitive factors include service and price. We compete with other communication service providers in the sale of high-speed Internet and cable television services. Principal competitive factors include price, quality, service and availability.




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