Real Estate & Construction  March 31, 2022

RE Summit: Home developers discuss affordability challenges

LOVELAND — Affordable housing was top of mind for many at BizWest’s Northern Colorado Real Estate Summit in Loveland. Presenters at the Anatomy of a Deal panel have been looking for creative ways to solve complex problems in the market.

Darin Atteberry, market president for Elevations Credit Union, moderated the panel, with Hartford Homes’ Patrick McMeekin, Journey Homes’ Larry Buckendorf and Westmark Homes’ Brandon Myers discussing issues in today’s housing market.

Buckendorf warned a gathered crowd of real estate professionals about the state of affordable housing in Northern Colorado.

“We are at an affordability crisis, in my opinion,” Buckendorf said.

McMeekin expressed his concerns about the current state of the market, with criticism for slow development processes leading to a supply shortage.

“If we maintain the status quo, I think the problem’s only going to get much worse,” McMeekin said.

Working with municipalities in the region is a necessity for developers, who need to gain approval for new development. Myers discussed the importance of trust between cities and developers during the process.

“It is a partnership; it’s a partnership to get these communities delivered,” Myers said.

Colorado’s booming real estate market has led to tight competition between builders as well as buyers. Finding the right land parcels for new housing developments has become more difficult. McMeekin said most available land has problems that need to be solved before construction can begin, from improving road access to difficult soils.

“All of the easy parcels have been picked off,” McMeekin said.

Increasing water and land costs have affected new development as well. In the past, developers were able to purchase units of water from the Colorado-Big Thompson project for a relatively low cost, but recent prices have topped $60,000 for one unit. Buckendorf has faced this issue when bringing water sources to new projects.

“The typical CB-T is untenable for what I build,” Buckendorf said.

One proposed solution to a lack of affordability is increased density. While high-density developments can be unpopular among residents of Northern Colorado, members of the panel spoke in its favor. Even panel moderator Darin Atteberry chimed in with his support.

“The idea that density is evil, we’ve gotta figure that out,” Atteberry said.

Build-to-rent developments have been touted as another solution to meet affordable housing needs, but all three panelists were skeptical of their long-term success. Buckendorf questioned the impacts of rentership on Northern Colorado residents.

“I don’t think it’d be real productive to the community,” Buckendorf said.

Myers was doubtful that built-to-rent developments could get off the ground at all.

“I would like to see if they get it across the goal line,” Myers said.

LOVELAND — Affordable housing was top of mind for many at BizWest’s Northern Colorado Real Estate Summit in Loveland. Presenters at the Anatomy of a Deal panel have been looking for creative ways to solve complex problems in the market.

Darin Atteberry, market president for Elevations Credit Union, moderated the panel, with Hartford Homes’ Patrick McMeekin, Journey Homes’ Larry Buckendorf and Westmark Homes’ Brandon Myers discussing issues in today’s housing market.

Buckendorf warned a gathered crowd of real estate professionals about the state of affordable housing in Northern Colorado.

“We are at an affordability crisis, in my opinion,” Buckendorf said.

McMeekin expressed his concerns…

Related Content