The Lazy Artist Gallery. (n.d.). Aerial view of buildings.
The Lazy Artist Gallery. (n.d.). Aerial view of buildings.

Marked by a 24% sales uptick in 2023, master-planned communities (MPCs) have grown in popularity for buyers and builders. Today, roughly 28% of the U.S. population lives in housing developments built by a production builder. This percentage is expected to grow in coming years, making builders keen to find quality land to produce high-value communities. Between lot availability, builder incentives, and consumer interest, now is the time to act.

Meet the Needs of Buyers

The process of finding land to develop a new community requires builders to consider a wide range of factors and delve deep into research. Before embarking on a production build, residential developers need to find land that is not only suitable for such a development but is also located in an area buyers will find attractive.

With a menu of prefixed home types and floor plans, production builds offer a cost-effective way to 'customize' a home to fit buyer lifestyles and accommodate shifts in housing trends, such as the rising popularity of multigenerational housing. Homes in planned communities with a multigenerational focus are selling at faster rates than homes in other neighborhoods. From first-time homeowners to retirees, planned communities have become increasingly attractive to buyers in all stages of life due to community and environmental incentives, plus local amenities like nearby parks, shops, eateries, schools, and more. Therefore, evaluating the needs of local communities before setting out on a new build is a must.

Evaluate Locations for ROI with GIS Software

Residential developers conduct and analyze extensive research and land data to build a successful community–a historically tedious and siloed process, requiring more time and effort in a fast-paced market. When builders lack certain pieces of the puzzle, they may not be able to properly assess potential sites for ROI. Crucial information includes:

  • Market and competitor trends
  • Cost considerations
  • Land use requirements and regulations
  • Environmental conditions such as flooding
  • Nearby amenities that meet local community needs
  • Site plans for specific sizes and types of land

At the end of last year, there were more available lots than the year prior due to a slower rate of housing starts. As demand in the real estate market remains strong due to housing deficits, production builders who get smart about their land searches will come out ahead. That means properly evaluating land for necessary buildability requirements, and by extension, avoiding costly pitfalls such as poor drainage.

But that kind of deep analysis doesn’t have to be difficult and time-consuming. Tools, like GIS software, pull all the necessary data, insights, and mapping capabilities in one place, allowing builders to search for property based on overlapping environmental features and evaluate amenity gaps when choosing land for a new community–meeting the desires of residential builders and the needs of the communities they serve. With the right software partner, builders can also easily customize their GIS to fit individual workflows.

Learn more about how GIS software empowers residential real estate developers to make confident business decisions every time.