Editor's note: The 10-year run up in real estate values has been one of the most remarkable wealth creators in history. Everyone seems in on the action: first-time home buyers, Realtors, mortgage brokers, office builders, small investors and large corporations. This three-part series focuses on who's taking a piece of the nation's real estate riches. (See Part 1: Agents, homeowners capitalize on home-price gains and Part 3: Billionaires make real estate look easy.) Chad Dreier, CEO of the publicly traded home builder Ryland Group, earned an estimated $18.2 million last year when considering base pay, bonus and other compensation, according to the company's proxy statement. Ryland Group (NYSE: RYL) clocked $3.4 billion in revenue and $242 million in net income for 2003, and its stock ...
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