Housing MarketReal Estate

Lennar co-CEO and co-president Rick Beckwitt to retire 

Stuart Miller, executive chairman, will be co-CEO with Jon Jaffe

Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, announced on Monday that Rick Beckwitt, co-CEO and co-president, has decided to retire and resign as a member of the board of directors, effective on September 1, 2023. 

Beckwitt, who joined the company in 2006 as executive vice president, has held the CEO position since April 2018. In 2020, he was joined by Jon Jaffe as co-CEO and co-president. Jaffe will be president and co-CEO with Stuart Miller, who is Lennar’s executive chairman. 

During his 17 years at Lennar, Beckwitt helped the homebuilder weather the collapse of the housing and finance industries amid the Great Recession of 2008. In addition, Lennar said in a statement that Beckwitt stabilized and fortified the firm’s foundation to grow. 

“With the help of Rick’s partnership over these past 17 years, we are very well positioned for continued growth, improved productivity, and innovation in the future,” Miller said in a statement.  

Jaffe added, “Over the last years, we have grown revenues and improved efficiencies across the Lennar platform.” 

More recently, Beckwitt helped Lennar navigate the most challenging housing market in decades. Surging mortgage rates resulted in cancelations and reduced profits for Lennar and other homebuilders, who still had persistent supply chain issues and worker shortages.

In the second quarter of 2023, the company reported $871 million in net earnings attributable to Lennar, compared to $1.32 billion in the same period last year. 

But the company sees a recovery on the horizon. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Miller called for an end to falling housing prices, he said had come down “about 10%.”

Miller, commenting on the company’s second-quarter 2023 earnings, said that Lennar “Continued to see the housing market normalize and recover from the Federal Reserve’s 2022 aggressive interest rate hikes in response to elevated inflation.”

“As consumers have come to accept a ‘new normal’ range for interest rates, demand has accelerated, leaving the market to reconcile the chronic supply shortage derived from over a decade of production deficits.”

For the first time in nearly a year, homebuilder confidence in June moved into positive territory thanks to strong consumer demand, limited competition from the existing home sales market, and an improving supply chain, according to the National Home Builders Association.

Homebuilders, however, are also looking at the single-family rental market. In December, according to a Bloomberg report, Lennar offered to sell some 5,000 homes to investors in the SFR market. Lennar in 2021, with partners Allianz Real Estate and Centerbridge Partners, launched a subsidiary to acquire and operate SFR and multifamily properties. 

Lennar’s shares, which reached $116.91 in December 2021, closed at $130.37 on Monday afternoon, down 2.87%.

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