Anthem Homes Are Selling Fast

July 24, 2013

From Inside Real Estate News,

Another day, another home sale at Anthem.

Buyers have recently been snapping up about a home each day at Anthem Colorado, a 1,700-acre master-planned community in Broomfield, where the average home price tops $500,000. Wheelock Street Capital, based in Greenwich, Ct., purchased the community at Lowell Boulevard and Highway 7 from the Pulte Group Inc. at the end of 2011. The transaction included land zoned for approximately 2,000 homes. Nearly 1,400 homes have been built since the community first opened in 2006. 

Prior to the purchase, Pulte Homes and Del Webb, a Pulte subsidiary, were the only two builders in the community. Del Webb constructed homes in the adjoining Anthem Ranch active-adult community. The site is now branded as two communities: Anthem Highlands and Anthem Ranch.

Builders added

In the 18 months since the acquisition, Wheelock brought in Richmond American, Ryland Homes and Standard Pacific Homes at Anthem Highlands. Ryland Homes also is coming on board. Toll Brothers has replaced Del Webb at Anthem Ranch, which remains a community for those at least 55 years old.

“The market is eagerly embracing the new line up here,” said Jeff Handlin of Oread Capital, Wheelock’s local development partner. “In the past few months, we’ve been selling nearly a home a day, and that’s without Ryland Homes, our fourth new builder, which won’t come on line until the beginning of 2014,” Handlin continued.

August is an Anthem fan

Housing consultant S. Robert August said everything is clicking at Anthem. “It is beautiful neighborhood,” August said. “It is very well planned, designed and sculptured. I would say prices are from the $300,000s to about $800,000. Buyers get more for their money at Anthem. They get a lot of bang for the buck.”

August has been familiar with the area for decades, as he started his career in the metro area about 35 years ago marketing the Ranch in Westminster. The ranch, along West 120th Avenue, is less than five miles from Anthem.

“When we started the Ranch, 120th was emerging as a business corridor,” and was considered the northern edge of the metro area, while now it is a mature, suburban infill community. “Anthem is the next wave,” August said. “It’s location is excellent. It is easy to get to DIA from there, you are close to tremendous shopping, medical facilities and employment centers. Boulder is not that far and you are all of 35 minutes from downtown, it is not rush hour.”

Pulte Homes announced it would be leaving Anthem at the time of the Wheelock acquisition and completed sales of its remaining inventory in March 2012. Six months later, Del Webb announced its intention to leave the Colorado market. The last Del Webb homes at Anthem Ranch sold in June. Richmond started sales last October at Anthem Highlands. Standard Pacific and Toll Brothers began sales this spring. Ryland will begin sales early next year in Prospect Village, the first new neighborhood in Anthem Highlands in five years. Standard Pacific will also build homes there.

Bigger lots on tap

Prospect Village will feature lots ranging in depth from 115 feet to 125 feet. These are deeper than lots previously offered in the community. “Homebuyers have been telling us that want larger backyards,” said Handlin. “We laid out Prospect Village to accommodate them.”  The new builders also have brought in new floor plans. Since last October, 27 new home plans for Anthem have been unveiled and those don’t include Ryland’s offerings. Most of these plans are unique to Anthem.

One a day

Homebuyers appear to like the changes they’re seeing at Anthem. Between late April (when Standard Pacific began sales) and June 30, builders reported 60 home sales – approximately one a day. In June, when Toll Brothers began taking contracts, the builder sold out all 16 released lots in two hours. The homes have been so well received that builders have been able to raise prices. In 2012, the average selling price in Anthem Highlands was $434,000. So far in 2013, it has averaged $525,000, an increase of 21 percent. In Anthem Ranch, the average selling price is up 20 percent, at $546,000.

“After the transition period, we feel like Anthem is now firing on all cylinder,” Handlin said. “We’re really looking forward to 2014.”

Next year, Ryland and Toll Brothers will offer model homes at Anthem. Richmond American and Standard Pacific each already have two model homes in place.

Larger lots coming

Also planned for late in 2014 is the development of another new neighborhood in Anthem Highlands – one with larger lots than have ever been offered in the community. “Pulte created a fabulous community here, with two massive recreation centers and 48 miles of trails,” Handlin said. “It’s testament to Pulte’s vision that Anthem was named the Denver Community of the Year in 2010,” Handlin said.

However, Handlin wanted to bring Anthem Colorado to the next level. “Our goal since buying the community has been to make it even better,” he said. “Judging from the home buyer response, I’d venture to say we’re succeeding.” Anthem has been approved for up to 3,500 units. Amenities include two 32,000-square-foot recreation centers, 48 miles of trails and 735 acres of open space.