DUBLIN, Ohio, June 17, 2009 — Epcon Communities, a leading homebuilding and land development franchise operator based in Dublin, Ohio, has assumed the top position in Builder Magazine’s annual ranking of the nation’s leading for-sale attached condo builders, published in conjunction with the magazine’s Builder 100 list, released in the publication’s May 2009 issue. The announcement was made by Bob Franke, vice president of franchise operations for the company.
Epcon Communities now ranks number-one on the “For-Sale Attached Condo Leaders” list—one of several lists released in the Builder 100 issue—based on U.S. home closings in the previous calendar year, with 1,270 closings in 2008.
In addition, Epcon Communities moved up to number-31 on the Builder 100 list, a ranking of the nation’s largest homebuilders nationally, in any category, moving up from number-35 the previous year.
“It is an honor to be recognized on such a prestigious list again this year,” said Franke. “To advance to number-one, especially in this economic environment, continues to show the value in our proven product, franchise model and the quality of our franchisees building and selling homes across the country.”
Nanette Overly, vice president of sales and marketing services for Epcon Communities, attributes much of the company’s success to researching and adapting to new trends in the housing market, especially among the Baby Boomer generation, which is a target audience for Epcon Communities. For the past several years, Baby Boomers have been downsizing, moving from large houses in favor of amenity-rich, low-maintenance lifestyles. Due to the market correction, there has been a shift in this market trend, and Epcon Communities was in position to take advantage of the adjustment in consumer preferences.
“A few years ago, Boomers were downsizing from perhaps 6,000-square-foot homes to 3,000-square-foot condos,” observed Overly. “Now, with all of the changes in retirement plans, people aren’t just downsizing, they are rightsizing. The 3,000-square-foot residences have become 1,200-to 2,000-square-foot ranch-style villas and condos that still offer all of the luxury-lifestyle amenities and maintenance-free living, but at more affordable price points, incurring lower property taxes, and with even less upkeep.”
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), this trend is reflective of not only Boomers’ buying preferences, but of homebuyers in general. The NAHB’s January 2009 survey of residential builders found 88 percent of respondents changing their current or planned new homes with a greater emphasis on smaller homes, while 89 percent were placing emphasis on lower-priced models. Additionally, NAHB reports that the average single-family home dropped from 2,521 square feet in 2007’s third quarter to 2,438 square feet during 2008’s third quarter.
“With the savings inherent in purchasing these smaller homes, residents still have the opportunity to travel and the freedom to live activity-rich lifestyles—which is especially important to Boomers—without breaking the bank,” Overly added.
Dan Noreen, business development manager for Epcon Communities, additionally attributes 2008’s growth to the company’s franchising model, which guides building partners through the entire process of developing, marketing, selling and managing communities. “We added seven new franchisees last year, and new franchise inquiries are active, especially from existing builders who want to explore the Epcon Communities system,” he said.
With plans for continuing expansion in place, the company’s long-term goal is to move into the top 20 builders on the Builder 100 list.
Founded in 1986, Dublin, Ohio-based Epcon Communities is one of the leading developers and franchise operators of condominium developments in the United States. Currently with 295 communities in 30 states, Epcon Communities’ long-term goal is to expand to all 50 states and Canada. For more information, please visit www.epconcommunities.com, or www.epconfranchising.com to learn more about franchising opportunities.
Visit the Epcon Communities Facebook Fan Page