Investors are flocking to Westwood’s condominium units as the industry’s hottest market is poised for a second year in a row.
Westwood rose 2,501% in its fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday to $2.8 billion, the biggest quarterly gain since the mid-2000s.
The unit market has been one of the most volatile in the industry.
Since the end of the 2008 recession, prices have risen a whopping 40% year over year, the highest since 2006.
It is the second-highest growth rate in the sector and the fastest rise since the late 1990s.
Westwood has seen a surge in demand in the wake of the hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
In the fourth quarter, the average price per square foot jumped 2,903% year-over-year.
Its fourth-largest market by revenue rose 2.4%.
“This was the strongest quarter for Westwood ever,” Chief Financial Officer David DeRubeis said in a statement.
“We’ve been able to capitalize on our strong position in the market and the momentum of the market has carried us through to our fourth-year growth.
We are confident that we will continue to benefit from our strong business model and will continue our aggressive execution in order to deliver value for our shareholders.”
Westminster, NJ, is Westwood Capital’s second-largest condo market in the U.S. after Los Angeles.
According to data from the RealtyTrac website, the company has sold 1,964 Westwood units since January 1, 2017.
At the time of writing, there were 531 units available for sale.
About 5,000 of the units are in the development market.
As a result, Westwood saw a total of 2,079 new condo projects in its portfolio during the quarter, a 5.5% jump from the fourth-half of the year.
Among the new condominium projects, about 80% were in the city of San Francisco.
New York City and San Diego saw a combined 8,095 condo projects.
While the city saw the biggest growth in condo sales, the number of condo units sold by the company is only about 1% of the total.
For the year, Westside expects to sell 3,858 units in the country’s biggest city, which is up from 2,984 units sold in the previous quarter.
San Francisco, however, saw the largest increase in condo units.
Over the past three quarters, the city’s condo market has grown nearly 35% year to date.
If sales continue at the rate they have been, Westlake expects to break even by the end for the year on $1.25 billion in condo deals, compared to $1 billion for the fourth quarters of 2017 and 2018.
Additionally, the unit market is growing faster than the rest of the industry, and Westwood expects to make more revenue for its investors in 2017, according to DeRubes.
However, with the recent hurricane season, Westmont’s condo sales have slowed.
This year, condo sales in the City of San Franciscos market have fallen 6.7% year from year, according in a Realty Trac report.
There is a $20 billion price war between the city and the company in the condo market, according the company.
And if sales continue on the current trajectory, West Hills revenue could drop by $600 million in the year through 2021, according Realtytrac.
But, Westwoods valuation is still up, and DeRubes expects to be able to sell some units for a profit.
Despite the slowing condo market growth, the real estate giant is still looking for ways to expand the business.
DeRubeys comments came as Westwood announced a $2 billion investment to fund a new high-tech facility in San Jose.
After the news was announced, a Westwood spokesperson said the company expects to close on the deal by the fall.
The company is also adding 1,000 new jobs and will invest more than $600m in new technology, said a spokesperson.
One of the biggest challenges in the high-rise market, DeRubs remarks were echoed by DeRubaes CEO, Mike Hobert.
Hobert told CNBC the market is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
On top of the economic downturn, he said, condo prices have continued to rise.
His company is looking for opportunities to diversify its portfolio, and he hopes to be the first to offer a unit in San Francisco for $1 million.
(The market for Westmont condos is estimated to be $1,700,000 per unit.
More: Westmont is looking to add 1,100 units to the market this year, according to Realty TRAC