News Article | 3/19/2010

Hillwood adding lots in Allen


Hillwood Residential has launched another phase at its Twin Creeks community in Allen. Forty residential lots will be added to the development, which already has more than 2,000 homes.


Dallas-based custom homebuilder Sanders & Associates has purchased the 40 lots and has presold about 10 of them, said Fred Balda, president of Hillwood Residential. The lots are priced at about $130,000, and the homes will be priced at $500,000 to $1 million, he said.


This will be one of the last phases of Twin Creeks, the largest residential project in Allen and one of the largest masterplanned communities in North Texas. Construction on the project began in 1993. Only 60 lots will remain after Hillwood completes this 40-lot phase in June or July, Balda said.


Hillwood is developing the 2,400-acre Twin Creeks community west of U.S. Highway 75 in a partnership with Dal-Briar Corp. Breaking ground on a new phase at Twin Creeks is a bright sign for what has been a sluggish North Texas residential real estate market, Balda said.


“In Allen and Twin Creeks, it’s a matter of supply and demand,” he said. “We’re out of lots, and the market for this particular project continues to sell very well.”


Allen currently has a 28-month supply of vacant developed lots, which is lower than it is in most of Dallas-Fort Worth, Balda said.


Six-year supply of lots

Overall in North Texas, there are about 85,000 vacant, developed lots — more than a six-year supply, said Ted Wilson, principal of Residential Strategies Inc. A 24-month supply is considered a balanced market. About 4,000 lots currently are under development in North Texas.


Homebuilding is beginning to spark in a couple of fast-growing northern suburbs. Last month, homebuilder K. Hovnanian Homes contracted to buy 88 lots in The Villas at Craig Ranch in McKinney.


Housing starts bottomed at about 13,000 units annually in 2008 — down 73% from a peak of more than 50,000 in 2006, RSI’s information shows. RSI’s forecast calls for about 15,000 new home starts in 2010.


Balda said the consumer confidence is boosting the residential market.


“There seems to be a lot more optimism,” he said. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but we are seeing signs of improvement.”