A Canadian homebuilder is feeling bullish on the Valley, seeking additional land to develop and preparing to ramp up sales with three new model homes in a development near Queen Creek.
Mattamy Homes USA, the U.S. division of Canada's largest homebuilder, said it has started construction on models at Circle Cross Ranch on Gary Road, north of Hunt Highway. An official said the firm is also looking for new land to develop in the western and northern ends of the Valley.
"Arizona will recover, and it will always be a top market in the future," said Carolyn Morrison, Arizona vice president of operations.
The new model homes to be showcased, which will be finished in May, are in response to customer feedback, she said.
Mattamy, which entered the market in May 2007, began with 242 home sites at Circle Cross Ranch. The builder has 145 to go, Morrison said. Circle Cross Ranch has a Queen Creek postal address, but it is actually about a mile from the town's border.
The new homes range in size from 1,623 square feet to 2,500 square feet. Prices range from about 130,000 to $180,000.
Mattamy is unusual, said RL Brown, a Valley housing analyst.
Since it's relatively new here, it isn't bogged down with inventory left over from the building boom, meaning it's able to sink additional resources into the Valley, he said.
Brown said the Valley will begin seeing similar builders that hope to take advantage of low lot prices and construction costs.
"These guys are on the forward edge of the recovery," he said.
Heather Murphy, a Pinal County spokeswoman, said she is not concerned that an acceleration in home construction will detract from the foreclosed homes already for sale.
"(They) will get absorbed," she said.
She said those looking for a new home are very different from those shopping for a foreclosed home. Those seeking a new home enjoy the freedom to customize and choose their own floor plans, Murphy said.
"The buyer who's looking at a foreclosure is probably looking for the bargain value," she said.