Mason/Deerfield Twp New Home Activity

Over the past two decades, the City of Mason and Deerfield Township have been two of the fastest growing areas in the tri-state.  In 1997 alone, there were 479 new homes built in just the City of Mason.  Of course, fast-forwarding to today, the market is only a fraction of what it once was.  Despite the downturn, the Mason School District continues to grow at a much faster pace than many of the surrounding areas.  Much of this is due to the excellent rating of the school district and the plethora of excellent community options buyers has: Chestnut Hill, Carmelle, Long Cove, to name just a few.

With all that said, it’s quite obvious that there hasn’t been much development over the past 4-5 years.  This has caused the inventory of lots to fall to its the lowest level in years.  With the exception of a few recent additions to existing communities, there are only a handful of communities to choose from, meaning buyers having a much more difficult time finding quality lots.  One prime example is a community like Heritage at Medina, which has almost completely sold out after very little activity between 2007-2010.   Lots started falling like dominos in 2011 as buyers realized their options were limited, which is a trend that not confined to Mason.

Looking at the numbers, there have been 37 building permit issued inside the City of Mason through October in 2012, which is right on pace with the previous year’s total of 43.  However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story.  Activity and buyer interest has remained relatively strong throughout the year and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that new home starts might be much higher if good quality lots were more plentiful.

Despite the stagnant growth, there have been a few bright spot with new development coming to Mason/Deerfield.  Robert Lucke Homes is in the process of developing Walnut Meadows, which is located off of Butler Warren road and features 10 lots with homes starting in the 500s.  Another single street development is slated for Mason Rd. right down the road from Heritage Club at Medina.

And who can talk about Mason/Deerfield Township without touching on Long Cove, one of the most prestigious communities in the area.  Much has transpired in Long Cove throughout 2012, including a small new addition on Southshore Drive, the disposition of around 45 lots (19 developed/ 26 undeveloped), and a tremendous amount of new construction activity on new homes.   Most of the homes have been pre-sold by builders, but there have been a few market home sales also, which is something we haven’t seen on the higher end in a quite a while.

Looking forward, we, here at CBWS New Homes & Land, have been forecasting for 2013 and we’re optimistic that areas like Mason/Deerfield will continue to improve.  With opportunities becoming slightly more prevalent, new home starts have the potential to exceed 2012 numbers.  And, given the favorable construction loans available and strong desire to live in the Mason School District, developers, homebuilders and buyers will continue to see Mason/Deerfield as a great place to live.

–Mike Hines–

Building in Montgomery

Building in Montgomery

Over the past several months, our phones have been ringing off the hook with inquiries for City of Montgomery or Sycamore School District lots.  This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is certainly a substantial volume especially when compared to previous years and understanding that ½ acre lots are starting at $190,000.   What’s even more intriguing is the lack of supply of available lots and land in the area.  Since Montgomery has been fully developed for the better part of 3 decades, available properties often come with a premium attached.  Properties often only last a few days before a new homebuyer, builder or investor snatches them up.

The question is: Why Montgomery?  For residents, this is a no-brainer.  They tell us it’s the convenience, walkability and school district that make it so desirable.  Not to mention, the access to I-71/I-275 and community stability.

With all these attractive features, it’s no surprise that the good lots are going quickly.  Having been a part of over 69% of the lot sales in Sycamore Schools over the past 12 months, we know first hand the difficulty in finding good quality lots.  Despite that, we’ve been successful in finding our clients excellent properties by utilizing some unorthodox techniques not to mention a whole lot of patience.  Additionally, our comprehensive understanding of the building environment and process allow us to best access the area.  Here are just a few key concepts and facts that offer a glimpse into this specific 5.2 square mile market:

Montgomery at a Glance copyjpg

The Statistics: In 2011, there were 9 building permits issued, not including the Vintage Club Community. When considering that virtually all of these permits were homes priced 600,000 and up, 2011 was a solid year for Montgomery.  This is especially true when comparing to prior years.  In year to date 2012, there have already been 8 building permits issued (again, not including Vintage Club).   We are expecting this number to finish around 12-13 permits, 25-35% higher than the previous year.  We base this on our first hand knowledge of four to five additional new builds that have yet to obtain their building permit, but should be issued by the end of the year.

Teardowns: Since the majority of lot sales in Montgomery have come via teardown, the property price is not the only variable to keep in mind when building.  Additionally, a buyer (or builder) can spend $6,000-$10,000 to tear down the old structure to make way for building.  It has become so common place that we’ve developed specialize marketing and listing programs for homeowners that would like to sell there property as a home and lot to discover the highest market value.

The Builders: Although a variety of builders have had presences in Montgomery, there are a few that have become staples of the community.  Copper Creek Homes (www.coppercreekhome.us), Terry Inman Custom Homes, Ireland May Homes and Zicka Homes are common names you’ll see or hear about as you venture through the community.

Keep in mind that the noticeable building activity is representative of only a sliver of the interest out there.  Although new home permits will never reach an outrageous level with the lack of developable land, we’re very optimistic the level of demand will continue to stay strong as the tangibles and intangible attributes drive buyers to Montgomery.

–Mike Hines