"Builder Wars" begin in FT Gordon & Grovetown, Georgia Area
While Animal Planet's Whale Wars take place in the icy Antarctic waters, the builder wars are just getting heated up in Grovetown and the Augusta area overall!
Since the arrival of Crown Communities a.k.a. Pillon Communities about 18 months ago in Augusta our real estate market has seen dramatic changes. While Crown captured a lion's share of the new construction business, it didn't go unnoticed. Local builders have adjusted construction methods and pricing while more "out of town" builders mainly from the Atlanta market have arrived on the scene. It's been very interesting to watch and the competition continues to increase especially in the Grovetown area targetiing the lucrative FT Gordon VA buyers.
Word on the street has Crown seeing less traffic in their neighborhoods and the pressure to sell homes is increasing on site agents. Crown builders came in real strong at the beginning but Augusta is in fact a small market where word travels fast among real estate professionals. The continual sales site turnover also includes some quality, household name REALTORS who without apparent cause are suddenly being removed from Crown sites and replaced with less capable ones. In addition they are offering a 5% buyer's agent commission on some existing inventory while the norm is often 3%. This is clearly a sign that they want quick sales results and move stagnant inventory by buying traffic from buyer agents.
JR Homes of Alabama is doing well in Grovetown with a sold-out phase 1 in Indian Springs and phase 2 well under way and selling craftsman style homes at a great price. In Reynolds Pond, also in the heart of Grovetown sales are doing well. JR Homes had purchased the lots from the local builder Joey Brush. Also in Grovetown, Crown has had very good success in Pamir Place selling well in the upper 130's to 170's range. Soon, Crown will also be launching a new Grovetown neighborhood at Chamblin Road and Wrightsboro Road.
A number of other builders are heavily targeting the Grovetown military market and additional home sites are under development all around the Grovetown area. The latest player, Wilson Parker Homes based in Atlanta is a killer whale sized company that could be a game changer for Greater Augusta. Currently Wilson Parker Homes is building in 3 states and offering almost 3 times the number of floor plans as Crown. Rumors are they have purchased many local lots already and building dozens of homes.
Grovetown currently has 240 new construction homes for sale in the Augusta MLS. Statistics show they have been on the market an average of 4.86 months and average $80.00 per SF. Considering the additional homes about to be built, 2011 will be a very interesting year. Some new homes have been sitting on the ground vacant for 2 years and are offered for sale! The real question is whether there will be enough demand from buyers to absorb all the upcoming new inventory.
How will this effect existing resale home values as we move forward?
Many questions...............few answers............stay tuned!