“It’s the lowest month supply we’ve seen in thirteen years.”
If you’ve been out shopping for a new home recently, you might already know the “it” to which real estate expert Dan Whitney refers: the low number of new homes currently available for purchase in the Blue Valley area. Whitney, whose independent consulting firm Landmarketing advises bankers, developers, and builders on industry-wide residential real estate supply and demand, says the number of home sites ready for purchase in Blue Valley is also uniquely low.
While buyer demand continues to increase, shoppers have only a 20-month supply of developed sites to build homes upon.
“That may sound like a lot, but metro-wide the figure is closer to 80 or 85,” says Whitney. “So the area we’re talking about has only a quarter of the site supply that’s available in the rest of the market.” Whitney says the big gap between supply and demand in the top-selling school district is creating a sense of urgency and even panic among builders who have enjoyed past success in the area.
“If the builder can’t find a lot, it can change how they go about getting a home built,” says the Landmarketing CEO.
The new scarcity of developed sites is just the latest challenge for many builders who assumed they had weathered the worst with the market downturn of 2008. “We’ve lost so many good builders during the last five or six years,” explains Cindy Zitterkopf, Managing Broker for Reece & Nichols at Town Center Leawood. “But the strong will survive,” adds Zitterkopf.
Among the strong and enterprising few not just surviving but thriving is Rodrock Homes.
The company’s smart financial planning, long-term investment in Blue Valley, and expertise in both building and development have converged to give buyers something they’re hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
“Rodrock Homes has set themselves apart,” explains Reece & Nichols’ CEO Jerry Reece, “by providing both desirable home sites and adequate home inventory to meet the demands of today’s new home market.”
Reece knows of what he speaks. As CEO of the largest residential real estate company in the metro and surrounding areas, he’s well versed in what new homebuyers want.
And if sales figures tell the truth, many buyers want new homes: in Rodrock Homes’ Wyngate, Summerwood, and Summerwood Estates communities.
All three are easy-access Johnson County neighborhoods where families can work and play more easily, where green space abounds and the latest amenities beckon. Rodrock Homes’ tree-lined streets, state-of-the art clubhouses and pools, and paved nature trails make a big difference in residents’ quality of life, say homeowners.
“They put money into their developments and common areas up front instead of waiting for the homes to be built,” says Zitterkopf, who cites the company’s citywide reputation for community development and responsiveness to clients. “They listen to what the public wants,” says the broker.
Whatever Rodrock Homes is doing to win homebuyers, the formula seems to be working. The company’s 2012 revenue is up 46% from 2011, and if the first half of 2013 is any indication, that trend is expected only to increase or continue.
As a result, more model homes, showcase homes, and home sites are in the works in many of Overland Park’s top-selling communities. “Rodrock Homes has been an early-responder to the pent-up demand that’s being unleashed across the marketplace,” says Reece. “Their new phase at Wyngate is another example of that readiness.”
The company will offer shoppers at Wyngate a new and sought-after selection of walkout, daylight, and level home sites beginning in July. Known for its in-neighborhood access to Blue Valley schools, Wyngate also features a variety of showcase and Rodrock Ready homes ready for customization.
The company’s Summerwood and Summerwood Estates communities, also located within Overland Park and the Blue Valley school district, have just a dozen home sites remaining in their latest phase. Summerwood’s extended half-acre sites have sold quickly to buyers looking for expanded lots to complement larger luxury floor plans.
And with showcase homes also available in Summerwood, buying now means you can find yourself in a fully customized new home before the end of the year. Still, there’s reason to hurry given the current climate of small supply coupled with big demand.
“Anytime you have an under-supply it will impact pricing,” Whitney points out. “Once the existing lots are all absorbed the new lots will almost always be more expensive.”