Homebuilders are hungry for land in the West Valley as they work to build more homes when demand is at an all-time high.
Scottsdale-based Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE: MTH) just paid $14.75 million for 218 acres near the southeast corner of Citrus and Camelback roads in Goodyear, according to Tempe-based Vizzda LLC real estate database.
The parcel is across the street from its Sedella master-planned community, which is expected to be sold out this fall, said Fred Hermann, Phoenix division president of Meritage.
To be called Abel Ranch, this new Meritage master-planned community includes 333 lots with single-story homes ranging from 1,500 to 3,400 square feet, with prices ranging from $300,000 to $500,000, he said.
Options will include RV garages, third vehicle spaces and man caves, which currently are offered at Sedella.
Sales are expected to begin in fall 2022, with community amenities to include a central open space with a large ramada, which will include an outdoor fireplace, BBQ and picnic areas. Other outdoor living features include several pocket parks, basketball, pickleball courts and tot lots.
Plans call for building out the entire community, Hermann said.
Focus on Goodyear
Scottsdale-based Land Advisors Organization represented the seller in that land transaction, William Abel Patterson, a longtime owner of the land who had leased it to farmers, said Ryan Semro, land broker for Land Advisors.
“There is explosive growth occurring along the 303 corridor,” Semro said. “This is just another indication of what’s happening out there.”
Sifting through his land database, Jim Daniel, president of RL Brown Housing Reports, tallied 120 transactions over $1 million totaling $656 million for the first six months of 2021.
“Our records also show 16 transactions over $10 million, and five of these were located in Goodyear totaling over $78 million and converting more 400 acres of agriculture land use to residential use,” Daniel said. “This area will continue to be a hot spot for both jobs created in the commercial boom and new residential opportunities for those who work in this area.”
With 92,865 residents, Goodyear is the 14th fastest-growing city in the nation.
Over the past three years, the city — which is about 11% built out — has issued nearly 5,500 single-family building permits.
“The demand for quality housing is high, and it is important for us to meet the needs of those who are filling the good-paying jobs that are growing in Goodyear,” said Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. “We welcome housing developments that enable our workforce to have a home near their place of employment, which is an important element of our focus on quality of life for our residents.”
More homebuilders have been buying huge parcels of land to build their own master-planned communities, giving them a chance to put their own brand on a community with their own amenities.
Last month, Meritage paid $14 million for a 136-acre parcel at the southeast corner of Citrus Road and Van Buren Street in Goodyear, with plans to develop its own 247-lot master-planned community called Silva Trails.
Around the same time, Landsea Homes Corp. (Nasdaq: LSEA) paid $4.94 million for 247 lots in Buckeye, were the Newport Beach-based homebuilder will build a community to be called Benridge.
Before that, Landsea had paid $9.42 million for 193 lots in Surprise.
In addition to those huge land parcels, Tempe-based Fulton Homes has been buying huge tracts of land with plans to build 3,500 homes in the West Valley.
New divisions like the ones Meritage, Landsea and Fulton Homes are pursuing in the West Valley are certainly needed given ongoing, sustained high demand, said Thomas Brophy, research director for Colliers International.
“Over the last several years, the West Valley has seen an absolute explosion in economic development from the industrial development projects occurring along the Loop 303 corridor, with TSMC semiconductor manufacturing plant at its most northern end, to data centers and health care expansions,” Brophy said. “In fact, over the past year, there have been over 5,000 new job announcements combined with large, sustained increases of people which only increased as a result of the pandemic.”