Industry News

The economy is improving, development is back, and market conditions are ripe for investment

Vintage Oaks

The economy is improving, development is back, and market conditions are ripe for investment. So says Dean Schwanke, senior vice president of the Urban Land Institute and executive director of the ULI Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, who made the comments during a speech in Tallahassee this week.

The Urban Land Institute's program on the real estate outlook for 2014 “covered the highlights of the report ‘Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014,’” said the Tallahasee Democrat. Schwanke noted the improving economy “across all property groups and property markets."

Schwanke specifically mentioned “rising prices for properties, along with higher construction costs” as a sign that “development is back. Another factor is land costs. As development comes back, as homebuilding comes back, land costs are going up."

Lake Ridge

Of course, one of the areas that never waned but is still reaping the benefits of improved market conditions and buying power is masterplanned development. Masterplanned developers like SouthStar Communities enjoyed steady sales despite difficult market conditions and, in the last year, have seen an upswing in traffic and sales at each of its Texas communities: Vintage Oaks in New Braunfels, the top-selling community in the Texas Hill Country; Lake Ridge, conveniently located between Dallas and Fort Worth but offering an everyday resort lifestyle; and King Oaks, Bryan-College Station's premier community.

Masterplanned communities were on the upswing overall in 2013, with 15,338 homes sold for the year spread out over the top 20 masterplans, "an 11% increase over 2012," according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Texas dominates the masterplanned rankings, "with 9 communities" on the list.

"Sales fell in (five) of the 20 largest communities and 26% of the top 50 communities, due to lot availability rather than consumer demand," said John Burns. A recent article from the Wall Street Journal also noted the land crunch being felt throughout many populous areas, but was quick to point out where land can be plentiful: Texas.

For more information about moving to Texas or buying a piece of prime Texas land, visit SouthStar Communities.