Walton, a land asset management and global real estate investment company with US$3.4 billion under management, is actively utilizing its land acquisition strategy in the hottest residential markets in the U.S. to support homebuilders as they respond to the highest home demand in history. With a goal of acquiring approximately 12,000 additional acres—space for more than 34,000 new homes—to add to its 2021 acquisitions and sales, Walton is planning for an even stronger year in 2022 as builders continue to aggressively search for suitable land in an extremely tight land market.
“We are seeing a very aggressive land market that is in favor of land sellers right now,” said Barry Dluzen, executive vice president of Land. “At times, we are getting multiple homebuilders interested in one property. Walton is working closely with various builders across the country to give them the land they need to support their business plans to build homes.”
Walton’s strategy involves identifying a land parcel that meets certain requirements and finding a builder for the land by tapping into their network of top national and regional homebuilders or developers before they acquire it. After Walton acquires the land, they hold it via an option agreement until the builder is ready for development. This helps the builder secure land while providing a way to free up capital for homebuilding and lighten their balance sheets, which typically is in response to the expectations of their shareholders.
In 2021 Walton sold more than 9,500 acres with a value of nearly $300 million from their existing land portfolio, which translates into thousands of new homes throughout the U.S., to builders including D.R. Horton, Pulte Homes, M/I Homes and Regent Homes.
“We’re seeing end users looking to keep pace with demand for residential, industrial, service retail and even residential rentals. Land infrastructure and entitlements are hard to find in this hot market, and we have them,” said Ed Hadley, executive vice president of Builder Land Acquisition with Walton.
Walton’s 2021 land acquisition announcements totaling 2,150 included the acquisition of 632 acres of land for residential development in four of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S. – California, Colorado., North Carolina, and Texas with closings for these properties occurring in December and January:
Northern Colo. – Stonebreaker
In Northern Colorado, Walton acquired 208 acres in Stonebreaker, a master-planned community in the City of Dacono, which is located on the east side of Interstate 25 outside of Denver. Walton partnered with a national public homebuilder to bring more than 500 single-family homes to the area.
Charlotte Metro, NC – Union New Hope
Twenty minutes outside of Charlotte, NC in Piedmont, Walton has secured 217 acres for residential development in Union New Hope. An exit-focused letter of intent has been obtained with a national homebuilder to bring needed new homes to the Charlotte Metro area.
San Antonio, TX – Seguin Ranch
Walton acquired 166 acres in Seguin Ranch located in Greater San Antonio. Shortly thereafter, Walton received an exit-focused letter of intent from a public homebuilder who will acquire and build out the community.
Northern Calif. – Feather Glen
Walton entered the Northern Calif. market by obtaining 67 acres of land in the Sacramento area, which is expected to generate 300 single-family homes situated on 6,050 square-foot lots.
Dluzen added: “Builders and developers are continuing to move further out from a city’s nucleus in an effort to maintain affordability as higher priced developments occur closer to the city. Although land pricing has increased overall, demand remains very high. Walton is positioned to support the demand as well as economic development and affordable home inventory throughout the country.”