Horncastle shuts down as owner eyes retirement

Horncastle Homes says it is “taking a new business direction” as it shuts down its volume home building businesses. The company has 150 homes under development in Auckland and Christchurch.  

In a statement today, owner Bill Horncastle says his company will honour all commitments and obligations but will withdraw from the market. The business, which was building 350 homes a year at its peak when it had about 70 employees, now has only 25 workers.

“I have looked at selling the business or organising a management buyout but both options would probably mean I need to stay heavily involved for another three to five years which is just too long,” Mr Horncastle says.

He says it is easier for him to downsize and not realise a profit from the business than try and sell.

“With the business in such a strong financial position, now is considered the best time to downsize. The house construction market is cyclical and the past several years have been extremely buoyant. Our balance sheets are strong,” he claims.

The company added it remained committed to its sponsorship of the Christchurch Horncastle Arena.

Horncastle general manager Dayle Sutherland says it would probably take another six months to complete all the work in progress but there were guarantees beyond that which Mr Horncastle would honour, including a two year maintenance responsibility and Master Builder warranties lasting 10 years.

“The market is still buoyant in Auckland and Canterbury – it’s not for any reasons around that – Mr Horncastle is simply taking time and the opportunity to reward himself."

2 · Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

2 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Seems like a good buy for the right people.

  • 0
  • 0

What a great idea,he's worked hard,now he can enjoy the fruits of life,because at the end of the day you are along time dead.

  • 0
  • 0

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

NZ Market Snapshot


Sym Price Change


Commodity Price Change Time


Symbol Open High Last %