News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
John Caulfield / BUILDER / June 18, 2013
Are builders too aggressive in acquiring real estate?
Jonathan S. Grebow
is president and CEO of Ridgewood Real Estate Parners in Florham Park, N.J.
Yes. Builders are forgetting past excesses.
Since 2009, Ridgewood has been a residential real estate developer and investor specializing in land banking. The company acquires, develops, and sells residential and mixed-use communities across the United States.
While Grebow says his company has enjoyed “close relationships” with public and private builders, many of those same builders “have become our biggest competitionRead More
Austin Evans / Metrostudy / June 13, 2013
Over the past several years, builders have gotten comfortable paying below market value for finished lots. Finished lot prices were as low as 5% to 6% of home values in some areas. Builders and developers wrote down lot costs and were able to dispose of them at less than the cost to develop. REO supply grew, and it seemed most builders were taking down lots from banks, not developers. Even though communities were struggling to generate sales, the holding cost of lots was relatively low.
As activity has jumped over the past several quarters, builders are scrambling to control lots that they previouslyRead More
Duo Dickinson / Houzz / May 1, 2013
After World War II, the Federal Interstate Highway System allowed easy access for millions of families to populate subdivided farmland outside every major city in the United States. Flat, dry land with good soils for structural support and for receiving the new homes’ septic flow were gobbled up by suburban sprawl for a generation.
But for the past 30 years, available homesites within commutable distances from workplaces have often been awkward leftovers. Their property lines have trended away from simple rectangles to some pretty crazy shapes. Steep slopes are often part or all of newRead More
Marilyn Alva / Investor's Business Daily / April 25, 2013
Goodyear, Ariz., became a dot on a map in 1917 for one reason: land.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) wanted the area’s farmland to grow cotton for its tire manufacturing plants. A town was born.
Cotton has long given way to suburban homes. And like a lot of fast-growing Phoenix suburbs, including Gilbert in the Southeast Valley, land is a valuable asset again.
Land values have soared in recent months as the housing market has roared back to life in the region. And run-ups are happening in lots of places around the U.S. as homebuilders literally plow through their “A”-locationRead More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / March 18, 2013
As the lot feeding frenzy builds, more and more builders are scratching their heads at the prices they are being asked to pay for homesites. Builders have a strong motivation to increase their community counts, but they are having to pay near-peak prices for lots in order to do so. Decisions made by builders in the next six to twelve months will be absolutely critical to their ongoing financial health.
Last fall, we conducted a special nationwide study of all the public homebuilders’ lot positions, and we found that most of the public homebuilders had seen an erosion of their Vacant DevelopedRead More