D.R. Horton Inc. has paid $5 million for another 146 lots in north Marana after paying $2.4 million for 105 lots in the same community last fall — adding to the the $241.93 million the homebuilder spent in Arizona over the past 14 months.
Randy Bury, founder of Paradise Valley-based Moderne Communities, sold the platted and engineered lots to the Arlington, Texas-based homebuilder.
Marana is north of Tucson, about a 75-minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
“It’s not too far from Phoenix,” Bury said. “It’s in the path of growth. You hop on I-10 and you’re 25 minutes from Raytheon, the largest employer in Tucson and 25 minutes to University of Arizona.”
D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) has been aggressively buying land in Arizona, said Jim Daniel, president of RL Brown Housing Reports.
“There is every reason to expect that D.R. will continue to be one of the top builders for many years,” Daniel said. “They are in a high volume market niche, aggressively buying land, and have an effective production machine.”
In 2020, D.R. Horton had 2,271 closings in the Phoenix market, which includes Maricopa and Pinal counties combined, and had another 640 closings in the Tucson market, Daniel said.
Searching his land database, Daniel said there were 31 land transactions in the Phoenix market since January 2020.
D.R. Horton spent $94.87 million on 1,333 lots in Maricopa County and $107.64 million on 1,878 lots in Pinal County, Daniel said.
“D.R. Horton’s land activity in Tucson added 835 lots that totaled $39.43 million,” he said. “Overall, D.R. Horton spent $241.93 million in both markets in the last 14 months.”
D.R. Horton could not be reached for comment.
More builders eye Tucson area
Since selling all those lots in that area to D.R. Horton, Bury has another 800 acres half a mile north that he is preparing to sell to homebuilders.
Plans call for selling 2,500 lots to homebuilders in that master-planned community called Sanders Grove.
“I’m already talking to three builders — all the usual suspects active in that area,” Bury said.
Home sales in the Tucson area are ramping up, Bury said.
“It’s already getting crazy in Tucson from sales and pricing, following what’s happening in Phoenix,” he said.
He expects the first phase of about 500 lots to come to market later this year.
Land Advisors Orgnization, which brokered the D.R. Horton transaction, also will be handling the marketing of Sanders Grove.
Jim Belfiore, founder of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting, said home prices continue to rise at an almost inconceivable pace across metro Phoenix, with builders raising projected startup prices multiple times in many cases before offering homes for sales.
“Without more supply becoming available, my personal forecast of 12% to 15% appreciation this year — for the second consecutive year — may be eclipsed by an even larger rise,” he said.
Phoenix topped the nation in home price growth in December, reporting a 14.4% year-over-year gain at a time when the national increase was 10.4%, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released late last month.