A Milwaukee homebuilder owned by a charitable foundation is gobbling up land across three areas of the Phoenix region, including two purchases in the West Valley.
Article originally posted here.
Homes by Towne, which is owned by Milwaukee-based Zilber Ltd., paid $6 million for 145 final platted lots northwest of Cotton Lane and Cactus Road in Surprise, said Jeremy McArthur, president and designated broker of Phoenix-based McArthur Land Co., who handled the transaction.
Zilber is majority owned by the Joseph and Vera Zilber Charitable Foundation Inc., a private, nonprofit grant-making organization focusing on the education and well-being of families.
McArthur, who was the exclusive listing broker for the seller of the property — Tempe-based Pinnacle Land Development Inc.— said the residential housing market has taken off in metro Phoenix since the beginning of May, so land and lots are in huge demand for homebuilders.
“This area of Surprise has seen new home price increases over the last few months, while the supply of land has dwindled in the area,” McArthur said. “It’s difficult for homebuilders to find lots that are final platted and ready to build on right now.”
The 145 final platted lots are within Ryder Ranch, which is about a mile west of Loop 303. The deal closed Sept. 8.
Also in September, Homes by Towne also paid $4.45 million for 105 lots in Zanjero Trails north of Camelback and Jackrabbit roads in Litchfield Park and another $7.5 million for 55 acres northeast of 51st Avenue and Elliott Road in Laveen, said Jim Daniel, president of RL Brown Housing Reports.
“They were busy buying land this month,” Daniel said. “Their total buy was $17.96 million in September. I was surprised when I saw the three transactions.”
These acquisitions come at a time when several homebuilders are buying land in the West Valley to build entry-level homes at a time when existing inventory is at an all-time low and prices of those existing homes are skyrocketing. Homebuyers are finding that they can find a new home easier than they can an existing home on the market.
Across the Valley, Homes by Towne has active communities totaling 862 platted lots, with 394 left to build — not counting the three most recent transactions in September, Daniel said.
The homebuilder builds a variety of product, with home prices ranging from $327,000 at Zanjero Trails in Litchfield Park to $1.17 million at Parolo Vista Estates in Scottsdale, according to RL Brown research.
The homebuilder has closed on 112 Valley homes so far this year, with 149 home closings in 2019, up from 87 in 2018, according to RL Brown research.
While Homes by Towne is a for-profit builder based in Milwaukee, it has a regional office in Phoenix, along with regional offices in Sacramento, California; Sarasota, Florida; Fort Worth, Texas and Oahu, Hawaii, according to a Zilber spokesperson.