Developers and investors are scooping up land for residential lots in the hot Horizon West real estate market.
Horizon West already is responsible for about half of all Orange County residential building permits issued, and the growth continues with four new land deals that will bring more homes to the area.
As Orange County’s fastest-growing community, Horizon West spans about 4% of the county’s total land area. It also boasts some of the highest home prices in Orange and Seminole counties. ORRA statistics show that during the first quarter of 2021, the average home price between Orange and Seminole counties together was $366,747. For the Winter Garden area, the average sale price was $432,810. For Windermere, it was $690,403.
Here are some of the recent land deals made in Horizon West.
According to Orange County documents, Oviedo-based residential developer Sun Terra Communities recently purchased 180 acres near Walt Disney World Resort for $16.3 million. Georgia-based homebuilder Ashton Woods will develop the site. Sun Terra purchased the site from Dallas-based Spring Grove, LLC.
This is not Sun Terra’s first foray into the Horizon West market. In March 2019, Sun Terra also purchased more than 500 acres of undeveloped land near the Horizon West Town Center for nearly $42 million.
There, Sun Terra plans to build a mixed-use project — called Silverleaf — with a development program that consists of 2,300 residential units, commercial and industrial uses, and an elementary and middle school. According to Sun Terra, Meritage Homes is currently under contract for the first phase of single-family lots.
In mid-March, Arizona-based Taylor Morrison Home Corp. locked in 160 acres in Horizon West for $18.8 million — or roughly $117,500 per acre.
To be called Harvest at Ovation, the property is located near Walt Disney World Resort. The land acquisition will pave the way for 285 single-family homes and 161 townhomes along Hartzog Road, east of Avalon Road.
The site is part of the Withers Planned Development, which has entitlements for 814 homes and townhomes, as well as a neighborhood center. Taylor Morrison and Toll Brothers are joining forces on developing the overall community.
A February land sale near the intersection of Hartzog and Avalon roads will bring a new Toll Brothers community to life.
County records show investment firm DW Partners purchased 150 acres for $14.7 million for Toll Brothers to build 368 detached homes and townhomes on the site.
Westhaven at Ovation will offer a variety of one- and two-story home designs with hundreds of personalization options. The Bungalow collection includes single-family homes ranging in size from 1,837 to 2,142 square feet, while the Single-Family collection will offer luxury homes ranging from 2,102 to 3,800 square feet. The Townhome collection is set to offer townhouses between 1,700 and 2,036 square feet.
Westhaven at Ovation will feature amenities such as a resort-style swimming pool, fitness center, playground, dog park and more. It’s also surrounded by lakes and a nature preserve.
“With a variety of versatile, all-new home designs, resort-style amenities and exciting nearby attractions, Westhaven at Ovation will offer residents the ideal Central Florida lifestyle,” said Brock Fanning, division president of Central and Southwest Florida at Toll Brothers. “We are excited to continue expanding our presence in Horizon West and look forward to welcoming home buyers to Westhaven at Ovation later this year.”
VARDE AND DREAM FINDERS
Finally, another big partnership between investment firm Värde Partners LP and Dream Finders Home will lead to more home construction in the Horizon West area.
County records show Värde paid $21.5 million for 84 acres near Walt Disney World Resort, which will be developed by Dream Finders Home.
The deal was part of Värde’s $250 million investment in national residential real estate developments. Of that, Värde devoted $100 million to Dream Finders Homes to acquire land in Florida and Colorado — including a focus on the Orlando area.
“The U.S. housing market represents a significant investment opportunity for Värde, with compelling supply demand dynamics driven by low interest rates, demographic trends and secular shifts accelerated by COVID-19,” said Brian Schmidt, partner at Värde.