D.R. Horton, nation’s largest homebuilder, set to buy Fayetteville builder Riggins

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 14,706 views 

Photo courtesy D.R. Horton Inc.

Arlington, Texas-based D.R. Horton Inc., the nation’s largest homebuilding company, has a deal in place to buy the operations of Fayetteville homebuilders Darin and Kevin Riggins, who have built homes and developed residential neighborhoods throughout Northwest Arkansas for 30 years.

The two brothers lead a family-owned business that includes Riggins Properties, Riggins Construction and Development and Riggins Custom Homes. It is unclear which companies are involved in the acquisition.

Sources tell the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal that the two sides will finalize the deal this week. D.R. Horton officials have hosted multiple informational meetings with Riggins subcontractors and vendors for the past two weeks in advance of the acquisition.

At a meeting Tuesday morning (Dec. 6) at Fayetteville’s Courtyard by Marriott hotel, a source told the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal that Kevin Riggins bid an emotional farewell to approximately 50 subs and vendors who attended.

The deal has yet to be announced publicly, though it is believed to be worth more than $100 million. Company officials from both sides have yet to return phone calls or emails seeking comment.

According to the Riggins Custom Homes website, in 1992, Kevin Riggins built his first home for himself and his family when he was just 24 years old.

“Instead of experiencing the home for himself, someone came along wanting to purchase the home,” the website said. “This act led to Kevin and Darin joining forces in building homes in Northwest Arkansas. Building one home led to the development of communities and now building over 300 homes a year.”

Founded in 1978 in Fort Worth, D.R. Horton has been the largest homebuilder by volume in the U.S. for 20 years. It operates in 106 markets in 33 states and closed 83,518 homes during its most recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2022.

The company first dipped its toe into the Northwest Arkansas market more than a year ago. According to Benton County property records, the company bought 28 lots from Paul and Connie Church in Gentry’s Pioneer Woods in the fall of 2021 for $1.03 million. D.R. Horton recorded its first Arkansas sale this past April, a 2,031-square-foot, four-bedroom residence for $276,790 ($136.28 per square foot).

D.R. Horton is now building homes in Siloam Springs’ Heritage Ranch neighborhood off North Carl Street, north of North Mount Olive Street.

The company builds and sells single-family homes through multiple brands, including D.R. Horton, Emerald Homes, Express Homes and Freedom Homes. Prices range from $150,000 to more than $1 million. D.R. Horton also provides mortgage financing, title and insurance agency services through in-house subsidiaries.

According to Builder magazine, D.R. Horton had $27.9 billion in revenue in 2021. The company reported $15.05 billion in revenue during the first fiscal six months of 2022, better than the $12.38 billion in the same period of the previous year. Net income in the first six months was $2.58 billion, also better than the $1.72 billion in the same period of the previous year.

D.R. Horton has ties to Arkansas through its chairman and founder, Donald Horton. He was raised in Marshall (Searcy County), where his father worked as a cattleman and a Realtor. After studying at the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Oklahoma, Horton left school in 1972 and returned to Marshall, where he joined his family’s real estate business.

Horton moved to Fort Worth in 1977 and built his first home one year later, launching a business that is now one of the most prolific homebuilding companies in the U.S.

The company completed its initial public offering of stock in 1992. Shares (DHI: NYSE) were trading at $83.58 during mid-day trading Tuesday. During the past 52 weeks, the share price has ranged between $110.45 and $59.25.