By Ron Davis
– Reporter, Albuquerque Business First
Garret Price would like to say he timed the launch of his company perfectly.
Price launched Price Land Development Group in 2017, but that came after years of working in land development and acquisition for companies like Centex Homes and Pulte Group, which he admits prepared him for the eventual launch of his own company. During that time, Price said he stayed active and build relationships even during the Great Recession, when few homebuilders were active. That experience has paid dividends for Price as he got his footing as a company owner in the past few years, he said.
After more than four years of entitling and acquiring projects, Price said his company is now in a position to help meet unprecedented demand in the housing market.
From last July until the end of the 2021 calendar year, Price estimates his company will deliver 777 lots across Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe. Those are Price’s own communities or developer representative communities. Those lots are spread across central New Mexico, which Price said balances geographic and demographic diversity:
- 41 lots in the Jemez Vista development in the Mariposa community in Rio Rancho
- 116 lots in the Colibri community in Santa Fe
- 151 lots in the Aspire community in southwest Albuquerque
- 224 lots in the Los Diamantes community in Rio Rancho
- 245 lots in The Trails master-planned community on Albuquerque’s Westside
Many of those communities are starting in their first phases with hundreds of more lots in the pipeline.
“Four years of being quiet and under the radar is now helping to address the housing needs in the market. I’ve never seen so many job announcements with diversified job types in my lifetime,” Price said. “With that comes the need for additional housing at all different price points.”
Price Land Development Group’s delivery of home lots in Albuquerque and Santa Fe could account for about a third of the closings for homebuilders this year, according to Zonda, a real estate market intelligence website that tracks housing starts and more through field surveys. Zonda estimates the top 15 homebuilders — led by Pulte and D.R. Horton — to close on 1,812 of 2,406 lots in 2021.
Housing starts and completions have each jumped from over 1,400 in 2019 to more than 2,000 in 2021, according to Zonda projections.
“Albuquerque’s economy is really starting to show some traction with Netflix, Facebook, Intel and all of these additional large-scale, primary, employment-based expansions — that’s really created some quick momentum for the market,” said John Covert, regional director at Zonda. “The homebuilders, I think are feeling that. They’re seeing really strong sales and demand for housing.”
John Covert, regional director at Zonda
Courtesy The Ferraro Group
Business First reported Monday that the median sales price of a single-family home in Albuquerque cleared the $300,000 threshold and sat at $305,000 in June — a $15,000 increase from May. The market had been operating at historic lows for housing inventory over the past few months, opening an opportunity for homebuilders.
Brian Mills, vice president of sales and marketing for Twilight Homes of New Mexico told Business First the typical timeline for a home to go from concrete foundation to completion given current construction supply chain issues is about seven to eight months.
According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, in the Albuquerque MSA, there were 257 single-family permits pulled in May, compared to 104 a year ago.