Eller Students Analyze Impacts of Low Mortgage Rates at 2024 Meritage Case Competition

May 13, 2024
Meritage Competition

Every year, student teams from the Financial Real Estate Class and the Commercial Real Estate Club come together for the annual Meritage Case Competition, sponsored by Meritage Homes. 

The competition consists of student teams researching and reporting on a current real estate issue and presenting their findings to a panel of industry professionals. This year’s topic was: 

What is the impact of past low mortgage rates on current and future existing home inventory? How has the lock-in effect contributed to the current lack of inventory? With new construction currently making up about a third of housing inventory, how long will it take to return to a more balanced market?

Each of the five student teams had roughly 15 minutes to present their insights, followed by a round of questions from the panel of judges, which included Arizona real estate professionals and executives from Meritage Homes. 

“I expected to come here and listen to things I already know about from the industry,” Hilla Sferruzza, chief financial officer of Meritage Homes, said during the event. “But I actually learned so much!”

Meritage Student winners

The winning team at the 2024 Meritage Case Competition was comprised of Avery Hurley ’25 BSBA (Finance), Jack Marko ’24 BSBA (Finance), Will Brock ’25 BSBA (Finance and Entrepreneurship) and Ryan Gutierrez ’24 BSBA (Finance), who took home a $3,000 prize. 

I was incredibly impressed by the energy and focus reflected in this year’s competition. Each team completed a thorough research process and brought unique perspectives to their presentations,” says Phillippe Lord, president and CEO of Meritage Homes. “Meritage is proud to sponsor this annual competition and support students on their path toward meaningful careers.”

Second and third-place teams won $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

“There is no better way to learn beyond classroom instruction than to gain hands on experience on a current and relevant topic within real estate industry for our students,” says Aamir Kahn, senior lecturer in finance and organizer of the Meritage Competition. “And all thanks to Steve, Hilla and Phillippe on making this possible for our students at Eller with the Meritage Homes Case Competition! “