Industry News

2013 Real Estate Trends

SouthStar Communities, a residential real estate development company with master-planned properties throughout Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, reported solid growth in 2012 and expects to continue the trend in 2013.

In May of 2012, SouthStar Communities acquired Bluegreen Communities, a division of Bluegreen Corporation, for $29 million. The acquisition resulted in several additions to SouthStar’s portfolio of community developments, including Vintage Oaks and Havenwood in New Braunfels, Texas; King Oaks near College Station, Texas; Lake Ridge and Sugar Tree in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Sanctuary Cove at St. Andrews Sound, Georgia; and Chapel Ridge near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“This year’s housing market is promising,” said Thad Rutherford, senior vice president of SouthStar Communities. “Sales and activity picked up in 2012 and we believe they will continue across the board in each of our communities.”

According to Metrostudy, each of the four states in which SouthStar has communities, including Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, rank in the top ten states for job growth and single-family home building permits, with Texas leading both of those charts.

In 2012, the company reported more than $10 million in real estate sales in the eight months following its May acquisition. There was an increase in sales across all projects, with the College Station and New Braunfels developments experiencing particular growth in sales.

Metrostudy also reported that, in the fourth quarter of last year, New Braunfels housing starts were up by 34 percent, when compared to the fourth quarter of 2011.

Throughout the year, SouthStar Communities initiated community infrastructure and added amenities as part of an overall plan to increase the lifestyle choices and attract new buyers. Specific amenities included construction of two tennis courts and a soccer field in the Vintage Oaks community in New Braunfels, Texas, as well as a walking trail in the King Oaks community near College Station, Texas.

The New Braunfels and College Station communities experienced particular growth as a result of the new amenities, with King Oaks reporting a 15-percent increase in sales in the second half of the year, compared to the same time period in 2011. In December of 2012, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported a surge in the number of metropolitan areas included on their Improving Markets Index (IMI) with 84 markets added to the list, which included College Station, Texas.

A similar surge was also reported by the NAHB in January, when it was announced in a press release that 242 out of 361 metropolitan areas nationwide appeared on the Improving Markets Index. The release also stated that this is the fifth consecutive month the IMI has experienced growth.

SouthStar Communities has formed partnerships to sell lots to home builders in several of its communities, including Havenwood at Hunters Crossing in New Braunfels and Chapel Ridge near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In October, plans were finalized with award-winning custom home builder Scott Felder Homes, which purchased 37 lots in Havenwood at Hunters Crossing and is currently in the process of building a model home within the community.

“We’ve built homes throughout Central Texas and felt it was a logical progression to add options for our customers in the New Braunfels area,” said Scott Felder, owner and founder of Scott Felder Homes, in a press release announcing the purchase. “Joining Havenwood at Hunters Crossing was appealing because the community is well-established and includes impressive amenities.”

Standard and Poor’s rating service reported in December that they expect a 5 percent increase in national home prices in 2013.

“As a result of the experienced and expected growth, we plan to develop an additional 200 lots throughout our communities,” Rutherford added. “SouthStar Communities will continue its focus on achieving excellence in building communities that offer unmatched amenities and a great lifestyle for our residents and property owners.”

For more information on SouthStar Communities, visit

About SouthStar Communities

SouthStar Communities is a residential real estate development company based in Dallas, Texas, with master-planned properties throughout the South. The company is affiliated with SouthStar Development Partners, and led by CEO J. Larry Rutherford, who has worked in all areas of the real estate industry for nearly four decades. Since 1999, SouthStar has developed 20 communities throughout Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The firm’s primary activities include the analysis, financing, acquisition, planning and marketing of real estate for both residential and commercial uses. For more information, visit

About King Oaks

King Oaks is Bryan-College Station’s premier master-planned community offering the very essence of a peaceful wooded lifestyle combined with college town excitement. The community has premium 1-3 acre land for sale. Buyers can select heavily wooded, scenic pond side, and tranquil greenbelt home sites. Residents can escape to a wooded sanctuary hidden among a majestic forest of beautiful hardwoods. The unique character and charm of each home site is a gracious complement to the stunning custom homes. Boasting a multitude of elevations and natural amenities, King Oaks is the ideal community for those looking for a natural and luxurious lifestyle. For more information on King Oaks, visit Connect with us on Facebook at

About Vintage Oaks at the Vineyard

Vintage Oaks at the Vineyard, a master-planned community located in New Braunfels, Texas, is nestled in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Developed in 2006, the community is filled with majestic oak trees and panoramic hill country views can be seen from its 1-5 acre home sites. The development also has a wide variety of premiere amenities including a 1,500-square-foot clubhouse with a pavilion and catering kitchen, lap and lounge pool, ideal for relaxation or exercise and a Lazy River for families to enjoy time with the kids. The community has plans for an array of sports park facilities. Located on the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, more than 24 vineyards are situated nearby. For more information on Vintage Oaks at the Vineyard, visit Connect with us on Facebook at

About Lake Ridge at Joe Pool Lake
Lake Ridge at Joe Pool Lake, a breathtaking master-planned community, offers an unparalleled combination of lakeside living and a prestigious golf course lifestyle. Its premier location makes it one of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex’s most desirable acreage communities, offering all of the conveniences of a large urban city while retaining the privacy and country feel that you expect from your personal retreat. Select from a wide array of hilltop and heavily wooded acreage home sites surrounded by dramatic views, magnificent hardwoods, and rolling hills. For more information on Lake Ridge, visit Connect with us on Facebook at