The public home builders' filings with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission show these companies made their best margins ever in 2005, even though they don't separate land profits from those made by building and selling houses. It will be a tough act to follow this year. "The publics are secretive about costs," says management consultant and PB columnist Chuck Shinn.
The common denominator is good management, not whether the company is big or small, public or private.
It's been more than 13 years since the housing industry faced this kind of uncertainty.