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Being named after a pretty great initial combination is apparently not enough to shelter homebuilder KB Home from the effects of the cooling market. The home builder is scaling back some of its land holdings in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

That storyreported the sale of KB’s 49 percent of a master-planned community in Antelope Valley, Calif., to majority owner Empire Cos.

Some context from LA Times reporter Annette Haddad:

KB, the nation’s fifth-largest home builder, in recent years has beefed up its land-development business to capitalize on rising property values amid a six-year housing boom. Land developers typically profit by acquiring property and increasing its value by upgrading it into lots ready for construction.

But now with demand for new homes declining, major builders are under pressure from Wall Street to justify their ownership of land that isn’t already primed for building and that doesn’t have a prospective buyer lined up.

“Under current market conditions we are focusing our attention on our core business, which is home building,” said KB spokeswoman Caroline Shaw.

No cutbacks like the one in Antelope Valley have been taken in San Diego, despite the uncertainty of the market in the region, said Cameron Triebwaffer, Southern California spokeswoman for the homebuilder.

“We’re just moving ahead,” Triebwaffer told me. “Business as usual.”

KELLY BENNETT

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