By Mike Colpitts
Despite new home builder sentiment in the industry being exceptionally low, new home construction is in the early stages of recovery. The latest National Association of Home Builders confidence index was 16 in May. A reading under 50 indicates poor sentiment.
However, new home developments are showing signs of life scattered throughout the U.S. from Las Vegas, Nevada devastated by the foreclosure crisis, to Phoenix, Arizona where a decade of over-building came to an abrupt halt– all the way across the country to Georgia. The industry is making a quiet come back, despite tight mortgage lending restrictions and other factors.
Atlanta based Wilson Parker Homes is introducing a new housing development in Augusta, Georgia where the best players in golf compete for the green jacket annually at the Augusta National Golf Tournament, part of the PGA tour. Augusta is home to a bevy of Fortune 500 companies and is one of the best zip codes in the nation.
The company will construct four new developments in the area, one of which is in Grovetown. “High Meadows” is already the region’s top selling community. All four communities are being built close to shopping and dinning centers for the convenience of residents, and are only a 15-minute drive from downtown Augusta.
Every community also comes with a junior Olympic size swimming pool and clubhouse to entertain guests as new home hunters demand more amenities in communities they are buying in these days getting as much value as they can for the dollar. Homes range from 2800 square feet up and start in the $140’s.
Even in Las Vegas, which led the nation in growth during the housing boom and has been the leader in foreclosures nearly three years, the new home market is coming back to life.
Monique Frye, an accountant and mother of two found her new home online shopping for real estate. “I visited two Pardee neighborhoods and found the home I was looking for at Trail Ridge,” said Frye. “The kids can’t wait to go swimming and I am looking forward to having a new house that’s ours.” The new Trail Ridge development features homes priced affordability from $152,750 in a gated community to start.
In Phoenix, the market saw 64,000 new homes constructed in 2006 before the market fell out and the city that had the highest median home price in the nation went into a free fall. The rental market has taken place of the real estate buying frenzy as homeowners increasingly walk away from mortgages to rent homes for less money.
New home construction is slower than it has been in 30-years in the Valley of the Sun, but growing employment levels are beginning to kick-start new home construction, which was the biggest economic driver in the area during the housing boom.
Pent-up demand is slowly eliminating the inventory of new homes that were left vacant in the housing crash and new home building permits are showing signs of rising as developers buy-up vacant land at some of the lowest prices in decades.