Lot Shortage Causing Builders to Consider Abandoned Projects

January 3, 2017

The last decade's housing market's boom - bust left many parts of the country with vacant lots and half-completed housing developments.

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, builders and investors are starting to resurrect those "zombie" subdivisions that were given up for dead after the 2008 economic collapse.

A National Association of Home Builders survey reported two-thirds of home builders are finding a low to very low supply of available lots for new development, the tightest reading since the association started tracking the supply in 1997.

In fact, the supply of vacant lots has decreased by more than 20 percent across more than 80 major U.S. markets since 2011, according to data from housing research firm Metrostudy. In markets such as Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C., the inventory of vacant lots has declined by more than 40 percent over the past five years.

Resurrecting abandoned subdivisions involves local ordinance approvals, site clean-up before build-up, and in some cases tweaking the development's name to lift its brand recognition.

It is an encouraging sign for those of us neighboring these ghost subdivisions. Read more about how builders are bringing life back to abandoned lots in the Journal's "Builders Revive Abandoned Projects" here.