SPARK PLUG TO START THE YEAR
Looking ahead and planning for the future is the nature of life and it’s definitely the routine of our business: planning the next project. However, it’s the time of year when we take a look back and see what all the year entailed at Cordillera Ranch and now that we stop to look back, it’s remarkable what all has occurred over these 12 months. One thing is for sure, ‘energy’ has been the key theme at Cordillera Ranch. There has been a vibrant energy at the Club with growth in new membership and lots of members enjoying the various amenities more often this year at various events. We’ve benefitted from the energy boom with the historic expansion of both the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin oil and gas fields. Many new property owners and members are moving here from Houston, San Antonio, and Midland and are involved in some way in these energy plays. You can also see the positive momentum simply driving around the community and seeing all of the homes under construction. It’s been a fun year at the ranch and it was kicked off by a great honor at the NGCOA conference that has no doubt helped affirm Cordillera’s national reputation as a premier upscale community.
We were honored to open the year by winning the NGCOA’s Course of the Year Award which recognized Cordillera’s renowned Nicklaus Signature golf course and also its contributions to the community and the game. Making the moment more memorable was that the award was given the same night that Jack Nicklaus was given NGCOA’s Award of Merit for his part in golf’s global expansion.
While the year started out hot from a real estate and membership sales standpoint (we’ll get back to that), no one started the year hotter than Jimmy Walker with three PGA Tour wins in his first eight starts to the season. Jimmy, who moved into his new Cordillera home in the midst of this run, continued the great play through the four majors with three top ten’s and another T26. The media also took notice of Jimmy’s game with several cover magazine features and his starring role on Golf Channel’s “Playing Lessons with the Pro’s” hosted by Holly Sonders. “Playing Lessons” was filmed on the back 9 here at Cordillera Ranch and aired on the Golf Channel late this summer. Jimmy’s consistent golf over the past two seasons earned him a spot on the 2014 Ryder Cup team where he had a stellar debut adding 2.5 points for Team USA.
REAL ESTATE BUZZ
As mentioned, 2014 was a banner year for all sales and club memberships, and while that may sound a bit boastful, it’s really more of a testament to the 1,000+ families that have put their trust in Cordillera Ranch. Cordillera is blessed to have so many great Club members and property owners because it’s this core of people that has helped this place grow through so many referrals that are brought in to the community. You can’t replace a great testimonial and we’re proud that so many people that have introduced Cordillera to their friends and family.
From a numbers standpoint, total lot sales were up 35% in 2014 to $16.6MM (total resale and developer lot sales) driven by both an increase in actual lots sold and an increase in the average sales price ($264k/lot). A total of 70 lots were sold in Cordillera Ranch (on 63 disclosed pricing) in 2014 and Cordillera Ranch Realty sold 57 of those 70 lots (73%). The increased lot sales activity was driven partly by some new releases of lots this year in three sections and a continued growth in demand for the unique lifestyle at Cordillera Ranch. In the two newest sections that were released in 2014, Bears Ridge and the Golf Frontage Estates, over half of the lots were sold prior to completion of streets – a strong indication of demand.
Home sales activity has also been robust in 2014 with 33 sales at an average price of $852k; these numbers do not count new home starts (discussed below). However, digging into these sales stats reveals what we’ve said for several years: that there are really two communities in Cordillera Ranch, the pre-Club community and the post-Club community. In 2014, 21 homes sold that were built prior to 2006 at an average price of $686k while 9 homes sold that were built after 2006 at an average price 81% higher at $1.24MM. Average price per square foot of the pre-2006 constructed homes was $169/sf versus $255/sf average price for the post-2006 constructed homes. The following chart illustrates the distinct difference:
During the year, two of the most recent spec homes, built by Burdick and Christofilis and Authentic Custom Homes on hole #6, were both sold. There are currently almost 700 homes complete in Cordillera Ranch and 47 total on the market, representing a healthy supply of less than 8% of total inventory. Further, this inventory of available homes varies widely in price ($499k – $2.8MM), age and lot attributes.
With 255 lots sold in Cordillera in the last five years, that leaves a healthy pipeline for new home construction, which we’re seeing all over the ranch. The primary area of construction right now is in the Clubs Village, with roughly half of the 48 total homes under construction being built in this area. Take a spin around Clubs Drive and you’ll see for yourself. It’s estimated that there is currently over $50MM in new home construction activity in Cordillera Ranch, which is unquestionably more than any other community in the San Antonio area. The 2015 home construction activity looks robust as well with another 38 homes currently in ARC design review.
The increase in home starts led to the addition of two new Preferred Builders in 2014, Partners in Building and Garner Custom Homes. Both builders are going to be great long-term additions to the neighborhood; Partners in Building recently broke ground on their new spec home in Clubs Village and Garner plans to start theirs on one of the new lots on hole #9 in the spring.
Needless to say the fast pace has brought its challenges, which is why we have added three new Real Estate Sales Agents to the CR Realty sales team over the past year. Eric Metzger, Frank Leblanc and most recently Jasen Miller all join Cordillera coming from extensive real estate backgrounds in the luxury market. Eric hit the ground running early this year and, because of his worldwide experience in luxury property marketing and sales, has really recognized the opportunity offered at Cordillera Ranch for clients and has thrived as a result. In his first year, Eric was second on the team in lot sales only to our veteran Rick Grimes who closed 22 home and lot sales totaling over$10MM in transactions in Cordillera (through 12/7/14). We are excited to have an outstanding team of professionals that have helped so many property owners here find their perfect spot.
Not only was the home construction booming in 2014, but we brought on a broad array of new lots which has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response. This summer we completed a new section of Di Lusso Villas (Phase 2), where from hole #3 you can see two new homes under construction, one complete and one more about to start – all of which are pre-sold.
In October, we completed the first phase of Bear’s Ridge, the newest release of premier Clubs Village view lots with 20+ mile views in all directions. 12 of the 25 lots were sold prior to completion of paving which is an excellent start to what is going to be one of the finest additions to the Ranch. Lastly, our most recent offering of new lots, the Golf Frontage Estates on holes #9 and 10, have had the most resounding response with 10 of the 14 lots already sold and construction of the streets starting this month and the first homes starting in this section during 2nd quarter of 2015.
CLUBS OF CORDILLERA RANCH
The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch have been both a contributor to and beneficiary of this real estate activity. The Clubs vast offering of amenities is clearly a key part of the lifestyle people are looking to enjoy when they buy here, but the real estate demand has also helped drive the best year of membership sales in the past five years. There are many new faces around the club, with a total of 70 new members joining this year, comprised of new membership sales/developer lot sales (54) and resale property transactions (16). Of those 70 new members, 52 are new golf members (Full and Limited combined) and another 18 are Ranch members. This marks the 8th consecutive year of net new membership growth at the Club since opening; a remarkable feat that is again a result of the many people that enjoy proudly sharing the Club with their friends and families. The Club has now grown to over 640 total active members and has done so without ever reducing Membership Deposit pricing.
Much like the upgrades to the Club this year such as an entirely new fleet of 19 new cardio equipment units in the fitness center and new traditions started such as the inaugural Legacy Cup at Cordillera Ranch, plans for 2015 include a variety of new endeavors and events. One event we’re proud to be hosting in 2015 is the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America (GCSAA) National Championship (that’s right those grass guys actually play golf too). In February, the GCSAA is having their annual conference in San Antonio, and Cordillera Ranch has been selected to host their National Championship featuring 100 superintendents with handicaps of 5 or less. We are also looking forward to delivering some new golf frontage lots; based on the strong demand for the most recent release of the Golf Frontage Estates we will be adding some more golf frontage lots along hole 11 during 2015. Additionally, we are making some progress in designing and developing some new lodging accommodations near the club. Construction of the Springs of Cordillera Ranch is also slated to start in early 2015 with some great pent up demand for this new addition.
We are appreciative of the tremendous support of this incredible community of people and hope you have all had a memorable year and wish you a blessed 2015.