The United States is the world's largest market for wooden housing. Sumitomo Forestry was the first major Japanese housing builder to enter the U.S. market. In Seattle, Washington, where we have long had our timber and building materials trading operations, we began marketing spec homes in 2003 for the first time in the nation.
While researching U.S. housing customs, culture, construction methods and market environment from different angles, we now market spec homes in nine states of the nation. In particular, our MainVue Homes, which incorporate the management approach and designs of the Henley Group of Australia, typify our efforts to bring new concepts of homes to this immense market.
In 2013, we acquired an equity interest in Bloomfield Homes based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Texas, whose population continues to rise thanks to its stable employment environment. This was followed by our 2014 equity interest acquisition of Gehan Homes operating in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, Texas, as well as Phoenix, Arizona, which expanded our spec home business in Texas significantly. And in 2015, the MainVue Homes entered the Dallas market, armed with their distinct designs that differentiate us from our competition.
In 2016, we acquired an equity interest in Dan Ryan Builders, which operates in the six southern states on the East Coast that contain a number of major cities, besides the capital Washington, D.C., further accelerating our business expansion in the U.S.
We remain committed to our ongoing efforts to improve the quality and design of our homes and provide homes tailored to each local market’s needs.