Centex has been selling off portfolios of new home sites,including the 14 in Michigan, to stay efficient. Lombardo tellsGlobeSt.com that the purchase will allow his company to grow out ofMacomb County. "We're currently in a small market area," he says."Now we're going to be able to cover the entire SoutheasternMichigan market."

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He says the portfolio includes homes similar to what his companyhas been building, so the transition should be seamless. There areabout 175 attached condominium units included in the purchase,including Spring Haven Villas in Southfield and Blue Heron Point inPittsfield Township.

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The suffering of the Michigan housing market is well known, butmost believe the end will be in site by next year. Lombardo says hebelieves the bottom has already been reached. "I think there'spent-up demand. So many people are cautious, I think you'll see aspringboard in 2009 going into 2010," he says.

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