Home Builders: If We Build It, They Will Pounce

Buyers' demand for pricey houses seems insatiable

If you don't think the market is hot in Austin, Tex., ask Gerald Lamar. Demand for $500,000 houses in the city's booming high-tech economy is so strong that of the dozen such homes he has put up in the past 12 months, nine were completed "on spec"--before finding a buyer. Says Lamar, co-owner of Lamar Homes Inc.: "We're selling whatever we can put in the ground."

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