Texas accounts for the largest share of the U.S. master-planned community market at 38% in 2016 compared with 10% in the 1990s, due primarily to the state’s rapid recovery from the recession relative to other states where MPCs are prominent, such as Florida and Arizona, according to a preview of real estate consultancy RCLCO’s 2016 MPC Survey, which will be published later this month.
The top 10–selling MPCs from 2005 to 2015 posted combined average annual sales of 8,000 homes, compared to 16,000 homes from 1994 to 2005.
- RCLCO attributed the drop in sales to more small communities and fewer large ones due to higher land costs and other challenges related to obtaining and financing large parcels of land.
RCLCO’s report draws attention to the MPCs springing up across Texas, driven by strong in-migration to the state’s robust job centers. The prevalence of the energy sector in the state along with a more moderate housing bubble helped the housing market there weather the recession, RCLCO noted. Meanwhile, large tracts of affordable land close to major metros are providing a base for the influx of MPCs.
In September, RCLCO included four Texas metros — Austin-Round Rock, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, San Antonio-New Braunfels and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land — on its list of the leading for-sale, single-family U.S. housing markets.
Houston, in particular, has seen a crop of new or expanded MPCs in recent months. In December, the Woodson's Reserve community in Spring, TX, near Houston, opened its eighth section. Meanwhile, Canadian developer Empire Continental Land began construction on a 540-unit community outside of the city. And in October, Newland Communities opened a 3,600-acree MPC west of Houston with room for 6,200 homes.
Dallas and Fort Worth have also seen significant MPC activity, with Dallas-based developer Republic Property Group starting the first phase of construction on its 7,200-acre Walsh MPC in Fort Worth, while developer Gateway Holdings is preparing to open its $1 billion, 2,000-acre MPC in Forney, TX, near Dallas.
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