Less than a month after winning the auction to buy TOUSA's 5,499 Florida home lots out of bankruptcy, Starwood Land Ventures has struck a deal to sell options on half of them to Lennar.
The Miami-based builder included some details of the deal, scheduled to close today, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 11. Lennar said it has options to buy 1,408 finished home sites in 38 communities in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, and Southeast Florida over a 24-month period. In addition, it says it has the right of first offer on another 1,348 home sites after that.
No costs were disclosed by Lennar, but the company said the terms offered a "flexible takedown schedule, with a low up-front option deposit." Lennar said it plans to deliver homes on the lots beginning late this year with returns exceeding 20%. Starwood is responsible for the costs of finishing the home sites.
On Jan. 22, after a six-and-a-half-hour auction, Starwood offered the winning bid of $81 million for the TOUSA lots, up from the $61 million starting price. Two other private equity companies were also bidding on the land, including hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made billions buying insurance policies that paid off when mortgages failed.
The portfolio of land was rated an A- by potential investors, one of the highest-quality portfolios to have gone to market since the downturn, said Mike Moser, Starwood Land's east region president.
The Starwood deal is only one of several recent land plays Lennar has made. Lennar added exponentially to its growing lot control count last week when one of its subsidiaries, Rialto Capital Advisors, bought into two pools of Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-held distressed residential and commercial land assets in 5,500 loans. Lennar's Rialto will manage the land, collect fees, and, presumably, get first crack at buying assets from the portfolio. Under that deal, Rialto will receive 40% of the profit from selling the lots, while the U.S. Treasury keeps 60%.
In the same SEC document in which Lennar detailed its Starwood options agreement, Lennar offered a glimpse of some other recent land deals it has made by buying ready-to-build lots that it expects will bring high margins with quick turnarounds:
--Baltimore, 39 home sites at $60,000 each;
--Raleigh, N.C., 31 home sites at $35,000 each;
--Charlotte, N.C., 32 home sites at $30,000 each;
--Goose Creek, S.C. (outside of Charleston), 48 home sites at $16,000 each;
--Charleston, S.C., 48 home sites at $18,000 each;
--Homestead, Fla., 107 home sites at $3,000 each;
--San Antonio, 59 home sites at $13,000 each;
--San Francisco, 33 home sites at $139,000 each;
--San Bernardino, Calif., 38 home sites at $28,000 each; and
--Corona, Calif., 80 home sites at $89,000 each.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Charleston, SC.