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Managing Partners Brad and Michael Cooper with Blue River Development, along with CEO and Managing Partner Jason Joseph with Trilogy Investment Company, recently joined the IMN Spotlight Interview series with Rosie Bell to discuss their involvement in the build-to-rent (BTR) market.

Atlanta-based Blue River Development is a land and lot origination development company with approximately 6,000 lots across the Southeast. Blue River Development’s newly launched division, Blue River Communities, was created to serve the single-family BTR industry.
Trilogy Investment Company is a fully integrated BTR owner-operated developer located in Alpharetta. Trilogy has just under 3,000 home lots across seven states in its portfolio, including lots in its recent partnership with Blue River Communities.
“As a new entrant over the last three years into the space, we were looking for a partner that understood land, site selection, the permitting process and already had relationships within the home building community and BTR sector,” said Joseph when asked how two companies started their collaboration. “Blue River’s culture and business properly aligned with us.”

Cooper mentions, “We’re excited about the new partnership! Blue River Communities was born out of our ‘here to serve’ mentality… understanding more intimately what matters most to the operator allows us to be more creative.”
With its recent expansion into Texas, Blue River Development and Trilogy Investment Company are working on their first Dallas project together – a 225-unit BTR townhome community that will begin lot delivery in the second quarter of 2024.
“We’re excited for this project,” said Cooper. “Texas is a beautiful market! Dallas is one of the country’s most supply-constrained markets, and this is a part of Texas that had the growth.”
The duo is also working on a community in Huntsville, Alabama. Joseph states, “There are lots of builders in the Huntsville market and lots of supply coming in, but there is an unbelievable unmet demand for build-to-rent.”

Blue River Development takes a data-driven approach with operators to understand the acquisition criteria better and focus on projects that meet the operator’s needs and return on cost. “Ultimately, the ‘here to serve’ mentality allows us to continue to expand and grow where these operators need us to be.”

To hear the full IMN Spotlight Interview, visit Blue River Development teams up with Trilogy Investment Company: Podcast at IMN’s BTR Conference
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Blue River Development (BRD) celebrates a major milestone by closing eight Build-to-Rent (BTR) deals in partnership with Haven Realty Capital. Despite challenging conditions in the BTR market due to rising capital costs, BRD has maintained robust deal flow, successfully pairing builders with the right BTR groups and facilitating transactions from contract to completed homes.

“Haven Realty Capital’s acquisition of these eight properties underscores the resilience and dynamism of the Build-to-Rent market,” said Bobby Stamps, Director of Investment Sales at Blue River Development. “BRD continues to foster strong relationships between builders and BTR groups, resulting in deal closures that meet or exceed schedules.”

“Blue River does a great job of understanding our underwriting parameters and subsequently pairing us with builders and opportunities, which has enabled us to acquire a significant portfolio in the Southeast,” said Chris Turitto, Vice President with Haven Realty Capital.

Most recent BTR closings brokered by BRD involve several reputable builders:
  • Twin Oaks from Davidson Homes: 135 Townhomes in Huntsville, Ala.
  • East Ridge from Traton Homes: 38 units in Canton, Ga.
  • Greystone from Taylor Morrison: 75 Townhouses in Suwanee, Ga.
  • Overlook at Kennerly from Taylor Morrison: 109 units in Grayson, Ga.
  • Baxter Woods from Taylor Morrison: 55 units in Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Bridlewood from Traton Homes: 127 Townhouses in Douglasville, Ga.
  • West Oak Trace from Traton Homes: 114 units in Powder Springs, Ga.
  • Townes at Calcutta from Davidson Homes: 85 Townhouses in Stockbridge, Ga.
“We at Taylor Morrison are grateful to the Blue River team for not only bringing us an offer from Haven Realty Capital for the acquisition of Overlook at Kennerly, Baxter Woods, and Greystone but also for working hand in hand with both parties throughout the process to get contracts executed, and the deals closed,” said Mason Maynard VP of Land Acquisition with Taylor Morrison. “Whether it’s acquiring a land deal or selling homes at certificate of occupancy, it is a pleasure to do business with Blue Rive Development.”
Michael Cooper, Managing Principal at BRD, emphasized, “These BTR closings validate our market acumen and ability to navigate tough times. It’s not just about closing deals; it’s about building enduring partnerships.”

Brad Cooper, Managing Principal at BRD, said, “We aim to help builders reach their sales goals effectively, and these most recent closures exemplify that commitment. Also, as a Gold sponsor of the upcoming IMN conference in Vegas, we look forward to sharing insights and celebrating these achievements at our hosted cocktail party.”

Over the past year, BRD has had a hand in brokering thousands of lots in the BTR space, including previous deals with Trilogy, Tricon Residential, Quinn Residences, AMH Homes, ResiBuilt and Century Communities.

Blue River Development is hosting an exclusive cocktail event during IMN at Alto Bar at Caesar’s Palace on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, from 4 to 6 p.m. Space is limited. Those interested in attending this invitation-only event should contact Caroline Weyer at 770-289-3229 or
Chase Mallein, Investment Sales at BRD, states, “We look forward to reconnecting with everyone in the BTR industry in Vegas next week. Please contact me at to schedule a face-to-face meeting.”

The IMN 10th Annual Build-to-Rent, Land & Homebuilding Forum is an industry-leading event focused on private equity, debt and joint venture financing in the land and home building markets. Over 1,000 BTR, land and homebuilding professionals will be in attendance.
6 alpharetta mayfair on main

Just down the street from the reigning Best OTP Downtown champion, as declared by thousands of reader votes, a residential project has officially launched that aims to continue Alpharetta’s walkability push—while putting the “alpha” in suburban townhome product.
Blue River Lifestyle Communities, a division of Blue River Development, is moving forward with its first for-sale project, Mayfair on Main, situated on 1.8 acres at 217 South Main Street, between that main downtown thoroughfare and Roswell Street.

Marketing materials make no bones about it: This 24-home example of “luxurious living within walking distance of downtown Alpharetta” is intended for “the affluent buyer,” with “eye-catching [exterior designs] that meet the discerning tastes of the modern homeowner.”
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Mayfair on Main is an intimate community comprised of 24 homes, including 11 townhomes and 13 single-family detached homes. Homes are priced from $1.3 million. Designed for the affluent buyer, homes feature well-appointed luxury interiors, four-story roof decks set up for entertaining, and eye-catching elevations that meet the discerning tastes of the modern homeowner.

The community’s walkable access to downtown Alpharetta is a benefit. Just across the street from Maxwell, residents will enjoy Fairway Social, Rena’s Italian Fishery & Grill, July Moon Bakery, City Eats Kitchen, and much more, providing abundant entertainment and leisure options.

Downtown Alpharetta is a destination location offering residents and visitors a space to gather and discover unique boutiques, specialty stores, delicious dining and various health and fitness opportunities. From enjoying live music to grabbing coffee with friends, downtown Alpharetta offers residents unmatched vibrancy and southern charm. In addition, the downtown district hosts multiple monthly and annual events, including trivia nights, live karaoke, Sip & Shop Saturdays, farmers markets and art shows in the park.

“We are not just building homes; we are crafting a lifestyle,” said Brad Cooper, Managing Principal of Blue River Development. “Mayfair on Main, along with three more deals in the immediate vicinity, signifies our commitment to delivering on this promise and setting a new standard in residential living.”
“By expanding our services to include residential communities, we can offer quality family homes to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our future homeowners,” said Michael Cooper, Managing Principal of Blue River Development. “We look forward to building beautiful homes and creating welcoming communities for families in the Southeast.”
Aref blue river development florida expansion

Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC announces its expansion into Florida, aiming to acquire 2,000 lots over the next 24 months. Managing Principal Michael Cooper states, “Our focus strategically targets the I-4 corridor, stretching from Tampa to Orlando and up through Jacksonville. Another major focus is the I-75 corridor, starting in Tampa and reaching through The Villages into Ocala. Furthermore, we will expand to the south, targeting key areas such as Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Fort Myers.”
“This strategic expansion into these corridors and cities holds great potential for our company’s growth and market presence,” said Michael Cooper.

“With 1,000 people moving to Florida a day, this steady influx of new residents presents a unique opportunity for strategic development,” said Michael Meshkaty, Strategic Partner at Blue River Development. “We are excited to enter these growing markets and leverage our expertise to meet the high demand for residential properties.”

Blue River Development is aggressively looking to acquire properties at various stages of development — from raw land to entitled or developed lots.

“The counties we are focusing on include Hillsborough, Hernando, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, Polk, Citrus, and Manatee Counties,” said Meshkaty.

Blue River’s land acquisition strategy focuses on single-family residential properties, including detached homes and townhomes. Multi-family and mixed-use projects with a residential focus are also attractive.

“Projects of interest will range from a minimum of 50 lots to a maximum of 300 lots,” said Michael Cooper. We are actively seeking off-market, organically sourced properties and active listings. In addition, we are diligently pursuing all public records for imminent residential land entitlements.

“We are not just a one-note company. Our diverse portfolio and knowledge are adaptable to various market conditions and opportunities,” said Brad Cooper, Managing Principal at Blue River Development. “Our aim in Florida, as in all our markets, is to deliver value to our investors and the communities in which we work.”

This aggressive yet strategic expansion cements Blue River’s commitment to maximizing investment opportunities and illustrates its adaptability in an ever-changing real estate market.

The Blue River Development team has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel and execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.
Chase mallein and dad rene

Blue River Development, LLC is proud to provide Chase Mallein with a career path from intern to a full-time role in Investment Sales and Land Acquisition. This milestone marks the success of a second-generation real estate professional following in his father’s footsteps, underlining Blue River’s commitment to nurturing talent and promoting from within.

Mallein, a 2020 graduate from the University of Mississippi with a double major in banking and managerial finance, first started as an intern with Blue River Development during college. He returned home to Atlanta during summer and winter breaks and worked alongside Blue River Development managing partners Brad and Michael Cooper. This experience helped him hone skills in prospecting and sourcing land and building relationships with builders.

Following graduation, he worked at PwC as an anti-money laundering analyst during the Covid-19 pandemic. After a year, Mallein was invited to join the Blue River team full-time. Brad, recognizing his growing industry knowledge and relentless work ethic, asked him to join the expanding team.

“Chase wears many hats at Blue River,” said Brad. “Chase has grown into the important role of investment sales, and his impressive network and dedicated follow-up make him a point of contact for numerous company operations.”

Mallein’s father, Rene Mallein, serves as the Atlanta Division President at Century Communities. Growing up in the industry has provided Mallein with an extensive network of contacts and industry insight. Mallein’s exceptional relationship-building skills have broadened his professional network, proving invaluable in creating opportunities for Blue River Development.

“My favorite part of working for Blue River Development is working with Brad and Michael; they are like second fathers to me,” said Mallein. “Despite being the youngest team member, I am treated equally. Being connected to many powerful individuals, including land bankers, for advice about the industry and my career is an incredible advantage.”

As a full-time team member at Blue River, he assists Bobby Stamps in the Investment Sales department, packaging deals for end-users and builders, marketing them to potential partners, and managing interactions to maintain the company’s strong relationships.

His father’s achievements, including winning the Century Cup and his career progression over the past years, inspire Mallein. “Watching him excel motivates me to get out of bed in the morning. I’m lucky to have him as my main mentor,” said Mallein.
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Blue River Development recently extended its support to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Hope Gala, marking its second consecutive year of sponsorship for this significant event.

“Blue River Development’s ongoing commitment to the cause echoes our determination to sponsor this Gala until a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) is found,” said Managing Principal Michael Cooper.

The JDRF Hope Gala, now in its 28th year, is an annual event dedicated to raising funds for T1D research. This year’s gala, themed “Cures Within Reach,” took place on May 6, 2023. The event was a grand celebration of the resilience and courage of the T1D community, featuring a silent auction, an inspiring program, a cocktail party, a seated dinner, and a lively after-party.

Michael Cooper and his wife Kristin share a personal connection to the cause. Their daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 1, 2010, at the age of two. Now 15, Lily lives with this condition that makes her pancreas incapable of producing insulin, a problem that can only be managed with existing therapies and regular insulin injections. Lily served as an ambassador at the event, contributing a personal basket for the auction reflecting her life and interests.

Over the past 13 years, therapeutic advancements for T1D, such as the Constant Glucose Monitor (CGM) and the insulin delivery pump, have greatly improved the quality of life for those with this disease. The JDRF Gala serves as a fundraising event and a platform to highlight these technological advancements, including the new artificial pancreas that can automatically administer a small amount of glucose when sugar levels are low.

.A spokesperson for JDRF Georgia expressed gratitude for the successful event, stating, “On Saturday, we raised over $2 Million for T1D research! Cures ARE within reach! Thank you to our dedicated JDRF Hope Gala Staff, chairs, honorees, sponsors, guests, donors, ambassadors and volunteers for making this evening a huge success!”

Blue River Development’s ongoing involvement with JDRF extends beyond the annual gala, including volunteering and participation in various walks. Cooper affirmed their commitment to the cause: “We plan to sponsor until we find a cure for all these precious children.”
Connelly and cooper brothers

Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC is excited to announce the addition of powerhouse brother team Sean and Kevin Connelly as Strategic Partners, bringing decades of development experience to the company.

With 50 years of combined experience in the Southeast real estate market, the Connelly brothers have maintained a large rental portfolio for institutional investors and entitled, zoned, and/or developed over 2,000 lots in the metro Atlanta area. Both brothers possess extensive experience in financial modeling, land planning, acquisition, and disposition of land and lots. By partnering with the Connelly brothers, Blue River Development will be able to source new strategic capital and execute financial strategies more efficiently and effectively.

The brothers first met Blue River Development’s Brad and Michael Cooper while collaborating on several deals. The Connelly brothers have brought many new Atlanta MSA deals to Blue River. Their expertise in zoning projects, navigating entitlement processes, and working with strategic partners to raise capital will be vital assets to the Blue River Development team.

Managing Principal Brad Cooper expressed his enthusiasm about the new additions, stating, “We are thrilled to have Sean and Kevin join our team at Blue River Development. Their extensive experience and proven track record in the industry will undoubtedly contribute to our company’s continued success and growth.”

Kevin and Sean Connelly played varsity soccer in college and are both graduates of Georgia Southern University with bachelor’s degrees in business administration. Both brothers reside in Roswell with their families.

With over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $3 billion in residential, multifamily, and retail projects, Blue River Development’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, execute on that data, and maintain accountability to clients and investors.
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When it comes to development in Atlanta, Laura Zorko is making real estate history. As the Chief Operating Officer of Blue River Development, she’s been with the company since day one and played a major role in its growth and success.

Zorko has been at Blue River for eight years and helped create the company’s operating processes. She is responsible for day-to-day operations, including overseeing the company’s human resources functions, managing legal and accounting, directing the drafting and execution of contracts, developing and maintaining relationships with strategic partners, and ensuring the company’s financial security.

When Zorko started at Blue River, she was one of only three people at the company, along with founders Brad and Michael Cooper. The team worked out of a room in Brad Cooper’s house and strived to make their vision a reality.

Before joining Blue River, Zorko worked for Anheuser-Busch in her hometown of St. Louis. During her five years there, she oversaw brand identity for packaging and corporate identity.

Zorko’s passion for helping the company reach its goals, determination, and deep understanding of the business have been key drivers for its continued success.
One of Zorko and the team’s biggest challenges when starting the company was staying ahead of the competition. But they persevered, aligned themselves with the right people, and created a process for achieving their goals. Today, Zorko’s proudest accomplishment is having helped build Blue River Development into the successful company it is today. Her superhero talent is organization, which has undoubtedly been a key factor in her success at Blue River.

“Brad and Michael are always thinking forward to the next challenge and what’s next. I love this about them. There is never a goal that is too big,” said Zorko. “We don’t let challenges stop us.”
Her favorite part of the job is working with the team. Zorko comments, “I love our team and the people. The people are the best! “

Caroline Weyer adds, “Laura is the backbone of this company. She truly is a part of all of our success.”

Aside from her work at Blue River, Zorko is a dedicated mother and wife. She is treasurer for the South Forsyth High School track and field. She loves hiking around Georgia’s beautiful trails and spending time with her family.

Her advice for women starting in the residential real estate industry is to map their path, never doubt themselves, and always strive to achieve their dreams. Her commitment to her work and her passion for success is truly inspiring. With her determination, leadership skills, and love for the job, Laura Zorko is a force to reckon with in Atlanta’s real estate industry. We’re excited to see what she’ll achieve next with Blue River Development.
Caroline weyer

Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC is looking to the future while reflecting on the past. With a current pipeline of 6,000 lots, the development company is making a capital push this year to be ready strategically for construction in 2024. Part of Blue River’s strategy is the recent promotion of Caroline Weyer to Director of Investor Relations. In this new capacity, Weyer is leading Blue River Development’s investor relations. She oversees relationships with current investors and identifies prospective new investors, including working with several institutional investors and funds. In addition, Weyer continues to manage all the development company’s marketing initiatives, including branding positioning and awareness.

“Caroline has been an integral part of our team and is a proven performer,” Managing Principal Brad Cooper said. “Her communications style and ability to manage a multitude of details make her the perfect face of Blue River to our investors and potential investors.”

Prior to her promotion, Weyer served as Marketing Director for Blue River Development. In this role, she led the overall implementation and management of all strategic and operational marketing and client relation-facing activities for Blue River.

“It’s been exciting to watch the energy our group has and how fast we’ve grown over the past couple of years. Blue River continues to grow despite market conditions,” said Weyer. “The relationships Blue River has with so many companies, homebuilders and peers in the industry is a testament to how it is truly redefining development and leading the industry forward.”

Caroline Weyer has over 15 years of experience in the real estate industry, obtained from her previous roles at Forest City Enterprises (acquired by Brookfield Properties) and LaSalle National Bank (acquired by Bank of America). In addition to her institutional real estate experience, Weyer is also a licensed real estate broker focused primarily within the Southeast with a lean towards single-family for-sale and for-rent transactions. Beyond her professional accomplishments, Weyer is an active member of her community, raising capital for local schools within her current role as Vice President of the Athletic Booster Club and nonprofits that assist children and families in need. With a passion for making a positive impact, she is an inspiring leader in the real estate industry.

Weyer holds a BBA. from Miami University in Business Administration and Organizational Behavior Management. She resides in Suwanee with her family and, in her free time, loves watching her two children excel in sports.
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Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC is pleased to welcome Geoffrey Reid to its growing team as a Strategic Partner.

“In my 22-year career, I’ve never seen a better land guy than Geoffrey,” said Managing Principal Brad Cooper. “We are super excited to bring him on as a partner. His exceptional skills make him the perfect fit for the dream team we are building.”
“His extensive experience in land acquisition for major players in the Southeast is a valuable addition to our growing team,” said Cooper. “We anticipate his unique perspective and approach, honed while working for developers and build-to-rent companies, will have a domino effect on our success.”

With 20 years of real estate experience, Reid was most recently at American Homes 4 Rent (AMH), where he led a team that closed on over $3 billion in single-family rental projects across the Southeast — Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa.  Before AMH, Reid was the VP of Land Acquisition for Century Communities and was instrumental in the startup of the Atlanta land acquisition department. During that time, he led the efforts to expand and diversify product and geographic footprints, acquiring and entitling the first townhome, mixed-use and age-restricted communities for Century in Atlanta.

“I’ve worked with Blue River Development for the past eight years and am very excited about this opportunity,” said Reid. “Blue River has a great reputation, and I love how they approach doing business as a trusted partner by adding value.”
“I’m pretty optimistic about the opportunities in the Southeast,” adds Reid.

Reid started his career with Pulte Homes, serving various roles in the Atlanta, Charleston and Hilton Head markets. Over the last eight years, he has acquired over 10,000 lots throughout the Southeast for residential development.

Reid holds a master’s degree in project management from The Citadel and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia. In 2019, he was recognized by Professional Builder Magazine as a leader in the home building industry by earning the Forty Under 40 award. He resides in Woodstock with his wife and two kids. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Blue River Development team has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $3 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.


Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC is pleased to add Kevin Cardinal as Director of Land Development to its growing team.

“Kevin’s depth of experience in land development and engineering is a huge asset to Blue River Development,” Managing Principal Brad Cooper said. “We are excited to add him to our team as he will be instrumental in bringing projects from dirt to completed lots.”

A registered landscape architect with 30 years of experience in the industry, Cardinal’s background includes an impressive array of local and national companies, including HGOR, Tunnell, Spangler and Walsh, Falling Water, DR Horton, Drapac Capital Partners, Century Communities, Goodall Homes, and ResiBuilt to name a few. Additionally, as a professional, he has consulted for Pulte Group, Rocklyn Homes and Meritage Homes.

At Blue River Development, he will work on design, engineering, and land development, including securing LDPs, permits and managing projects from conception to the final plat and turnover to builder.

Cardinal’s vast array of expertise includes mixed-use, residential, office commercial retail, and resort projects, construction plans, stream/wetland delineations, Army Corps Nationwide and Individual permits, value engineering, and site construction management.

He has collaborated on such notable projects as the Mall of Georgia, Kennesaw State University quad, The Manor Golf & Country Club, various Olympic venues, Village of Baytowne Wharf and other resort communities in Florida and Costa Rico as well as many multifamily apartments and mixed-use properties for Sembler Company, Wood Partners, Lincoln Group, NorSouth and the Affordable Housing Partnership.

Cardinal holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and an MBA from Norwich University. He resides in Marietta. In his free time, he enjoys hang gliding, writing, golfing, fly fishing and instruction.

The Blue River Development team has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.
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2022 year in review high level

2022 was a record year for Blue River Development. While many companies slowed down due to several market conditions, Blue River pressed the gas and closed on approximately 2,000 lots through various verticals and recorded record-year profits.

The company extended into several new markets:
  • Huntsville
  • Charlotte
  • Nashville
  • Central and Northwest Florida
Other key stats:
  • 6 state expansions
  • 2,000 lots closed
  • 3,000 total lots in the pipeline
  • 2x team expansion
  • Secured funding
  • Launched Blue River Communities – Blue River launched its residential division in 2022 with plans to start construction in April 2023.
The team expanded with the additions of:
  • Kevin Connelly, Strategic Partner
  • Mike Meshkaty, Strategic Partner
  • Sean Connelly, Strategic Partner
  • Caroline Weyer, Director of Investor Relations
  • Kevin Cardinal, Director of Land Development
  • Kevin Langston, Land Acquisition

As a company highlight, Bobby Stamps, Director of Investment Sales, grew the Build-to-Rent Group to $1 Billion in transaction volume. He has 15 neighborhoods under contract to be delivered at C/O to BTR groups. Listen to Bobby and Brad Cooper on a recent edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio: Build to Rent Partnerships, Rising Interest Rates. Tune into Brad and Michael Cooper on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio for A Top Gun Development Approach and discover how Michael’s experience at the Top Gun Navel Airstriek Warfare Center gave him valuable insight into the importance of systems-based operations.

The Blue River Development team has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors. For more information, 

Atlanta’s Housing Market Will Lead U.S. in 2023
The Georgia capital is looking at modest price growth around 5%—surpassing stagnant prices in the wider U.S. market, according to the National Association of Realtors

Atlanta is forecast to be the U.S.’s top property market of 2023, according to a report Tuesday from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The Georgia city topped the association’s list of markets to watch next year based on its performance in 10 key metrics—including housing affordability, employment conditions and population growth—when compared to the national average.

Among the 179 metro areas analyzed by NAR, it was the only one to meet all 10 indicators.

“The Atlanta metro area continues to be more affordable than most areas across the country, with more than 20% of the renters able to afford to buy the typical home in the area,” the report said. “The job market is robust, with many major tech companies from the West Coast opening offices, such as Apple, Microsoft and Visa. As a result, the area experiences substantial migration gains and fast population growth.”

Raleigh, North Carolina; Dallas; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and Greenville, South Carolina, rounded out NAR’s top five markets to watch.

“The economic conditions in place in the top 10 U.S. markets, all of which are located in the South, provide the support for home prices to climb by at least 5% in 2023,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist and senior vice president of research, said in the report.

Outside of those hot spots, annual median home prices are expected to tick up just 0.3%—following a 9.6% gain in 2022—to reach $385,800, NAR said.

“Half of the country may experience small price gains, while the other half may see slight price declines,” Mr. Yun added. “However, markets in California may be the exception, with San Francisco, for example, likely to register price drops of 10% to 15%.”

Existing-home sales, meanwhile, are expected to total 4.78 million, a 6.8% drop from this year’s 5.13 million transactions. 
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Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC recently closed on two new Cobb County developments – Sophie’s Park in Mableton and Laura’s Walk in the city of Marietta.

“We are excited to start land development on both of these Cobb properties,” Managing Principal Brad Cooper said. “With a shortage of homes in the metro area, these communities are well-positioned to help meet the need for more attainable homes.”

According to metrics from MarketNsight, Cobb County needs more than 4,600 homes to meet current housing demand.
Once Blue River Development finishes land development, Blue River Communities will break ground and go vertical with homes.

Sophie’s Park, located at Factory Shoals Road and Mableton Parkway, is a single-family home community of 20 craftsman-style homes. Priced from the high $400,000s, home plans in this intimate enclave start at 2,000 square feet.

Laura’s Walk, located in the city of Marietta, features 20 single-family homes and 16 modern townhomes priced from the low $400,000s. Located at the intersection of Saine Drive and Roberta Drive, students will attend the city of Marietta schools. Planned community amenities include walking trails, sidewalks, streetlights, open space and guest parking.

The Blue River Development team has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.


Bobby stamps brad cooper with blue river development
Atlanta Real Estate ForumRadio> Blue River Development: Build-To-Rent Partnerships, Rising Interest Rates

NOVEMBER 9, 2022  

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Director of Investment Sales and Strategic Partner Bobby Stamps and Managing Principal Brad Cooper with Blue River Development join the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast to discuss the build-to-rent market and rising interest rates. Stamps and Cooper join host Carol Morgan in the All About Real Estate segment.

Cooper has been with Blue River Development for 22 years with his partner and brother, Michael Cooper. After working in the Atlanta music industry for several years, Stamps decided to transition into residential sales and joined Cooper at Blue River Development four years ago.

Cooper said, “I have been doing this for 22 years and plan on doing it for another 22 years!”

Blue River Development provides land origination, development and banking for national home builders, regional builders and single-family rental funds and operators in nine markets across five states.

Although the past few years saw agreeable interest rates and a booming market, the economy is changing fast, causing many home builders to halt or slow production. Blue River Development assesses supply and demand imbalances differently now compared to the 2008 recession.

With an influence on several aspects of the home-building industry, rising interest rates have a particular effect on the build-to-rent market. Directly clashing with the finished product price, individuals are starting to see the return on cost change from the typical 4 to 5% to more than 6% in most cases.

Many builders unable to take a big hit provoked a more creative deal structure approach. In order to adapt to today’s fiscal environment, builders are beginning to hop on the bandwagon of becoming fee builders.

Cooper said, “Builders have little to no financial risks in this scenario, and it has become an important revenue stream.”

Build-to-rent groups are more selective on products and pricing, offering fewer deals in tertiary markets. In the past, Blue River Development has sold deals and lots to American Homes for Rent and other build-to-rent groups that handle their own vertical construction. After sparking up a deal between Haven Realty Capital and Davidson Homes, Stamps prioritized immersing himself within the build-to-rent space. As land developers, the company is well-versed in deals, builders, products, lot sizes, zoning, surrounding schools and more, making Blue River Development perfect for pairing home builders with build-to-rent groups creating successful deals!

Stamps said, “We did all we could to network and stay ahead of the curve to gather the intel from all the main players in the build-to-rent game.”
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Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC has expanded into Huntsville, Alabama. Currently, the developer has four high-profile sites in the city of Huntsville, and several other locations are in the works with plans to expand further in the “Rocket City.”
“With 1,700 lots in planning in Huntsville, representing four different deals, the Blue River Development team is off to a great start in Huntsville,” Managing Principal Michael Cooper said. “We are excited about the market. There is a lot of growth and energy.”
Blue River Development recently zoned a mixed-use development Symphony Park located in the industrial corridor near all the job growth on Research Park Boulevard. This mixed-use community features retail and 780 opportunities to live there –150 townhomes, 360 apartments and 270 single-family homes. Symphony Park in Huntsville is a concept modeled on the success of a project with the same name in McDonough, Georgia.
“Symphony Park allowed all components to work together harmoniously and has been extremely successful in Henry County. We are excited to bring this design idea to the Huntsville market,” said Cooper.
Known as Rocket City, U.S.A., the smartest city in the country because of its aerospace industry, Huntsville is one of the fastest-growing cities in Alabama. Huntsville has seen strong job growth, with the Redstone Arsenal growing to 50,000 jobs, the FBI adding jobs, Facebook, Toyota, Mazda and others. And as people relocate, they need homes.
“When we initially engaged in the market, we wanted to create a diversified portfolio of products with close proximity to the heart of Huntsville, and a project in the direction of job growth in the technology/industrial corridor,” Bobby Stamps, Director of Brokerage & Investment Sales at Blue River Development, said. Through our vast network of BTR groups, we discovered that they had a significant appetite for Huntsville which justified our investment into the market.
The developer has also expanded south across the river to Decatur, Alabama, a vibrant area with lots of retail. Decatur offers Huntsville commuters a better price point and more value with only a 15-minute drive to the city. Look for a 170 units community here.
Another neighborhood located in Madison County is just outside the heart of the city.
“We have four communities underway with an appetite for more,” said Cooper. “We are constantly scouring for opportunities in the Huntsville market. It has become a challenge to find land.”
“We worked to convince the sellers that we were the right match,” said Stamps.
“And, at the same time, we understand the need to establish and maintain good relationships with planning officials, city, property owners, etc. This has been a cornerstone of our success,” said Cooper.
When Blue River Development started working in Huntsville a year ago, there wasn’t as much interest in land. Finding replacements for these projects is getting more difficult as there is much more interest in this community now.”
The Blue River Development team has over 20 years of experience developing and acquiring nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.

Atlanta Real Estate 

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Atlanta-based Blue River Development’s Investment Sales Division is helping home builders to see their way through a cooling market by mitigating slowing numbers with sales to build-to-rent (BTR) entities. While best-known for its land development services, the firm continues to expand its brokerage services throughout the Southeast working with BTR funds such as American Homes 4 Rent, Haven Capital Realty and Quinn Residences.

“We help builders to think differently about projects. Build-to-rent takes rental property investing to a new level and creates new opportunities for developers, builders and investors,” Managing Principal Brad Cooper said.

“Blue River did a great job of learning our business model and understanding our buy box as well as our underwriting requirements,” said Geoffrey Reid, VP Land Acquisition American Homes 4 Rent. “Therefore, we have built a very successful partnership with the Blue River team, resulting in American Homes 4 Rent’s acquisition of over 1,000 lots in the past couple of years, sourced by Blue River Development.”

Bobby Stamps has served as Director of Brokerage & Investment Sales at Blue River Development for the past three years. Known for his expertise in the industry, Stamps saw the BTR trend early on and got ahead of the curve.

“BTR funds came to Atlanta a few years ago with an appetite for finished product. We were able to pair builders with BTR groups to provide solutions,” said Stamps. To date, Blue River has brokered over 1,900 BTR homes totaling over $800M in revenue to builders. Additionally, Blue River has sold 3,200 lots in the Atlanta market and approximately 900 units in Huntsville to BTR groups.

“Blue River has been instrumental in Quinn Residences acquiring a robust portfolio in the Atlanta market. Their knowledge of current market trends, municipalities, builder sentiment and available supply has been invaluable,” said James Howley, Chief Investment Officer, Quinn Residences.  Quinn Residences has tripled its portfolio of homes in the Southeast over the past year and is utilizing Blue River to help them achieve their long-term goals.

Another large BTR Fund, Haven Realty Capital, recently leased 100 percent of its first four fully completed BTR communities totaling 304 homes in metro Atlanta. Blue River maintains a strong relationship with Haven and continues to provide avenues for continued growth.

“We sought out Blue River, as they are a leader in the land and brokerage field in Atlanta. We met with them and shared our goals for the market. Within 30 minutes of leaving their office, they had a deal in place that we eventually would close for two communities with 154 homes delivered at certificate of occupancy,” said Chris Turitto, Principal, Acquisitions, Haven Capital Realty.

As the Atlanta market leader working with BTR funds and investment, Blue River Development works to stay on the cutting edge of this rapidly growing trend.

Attending conferences such as the IMN Build-to-Rent Land & Homebuilding conference next month in Las Vegas is one way they do this. Look for the Blue River Development team at the conference. This event focuses on private equity, debt and joint venture financing in the land and home building markets.

“We look forward to immersing ourselves in the latest investment opportunities, strategies and trends to help our Atlanta and southeast clients continue to be successful in the BTR space,” said Stamps.
Build-to-rent will continue to be a dominant force in the housing market. According to Bloomberg, Wall Street has $85 billion sitting on the sidelines to buy homes that can be rented.

The Blue River Development team has a combined 35+ years of brokerage experience and prides itself on successfully pairing developers and landowners with the right buyers.
Largely focused on metro Atlanta municipalities, nationally recognized Blue River Development’s Investment Sales Division can be reached at



Brad michael cooper with blue river development llc
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
July 27th

Brad and Michael Cooper with Blue River Development, LLC  join the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcast to chat about the development of 1,000 lots in Henry County, including Symphony Park, the company’s brokerage service and what’s next! The Cooper brothers join host Carol Morgan on the All About Real Estate segment.

An industry member for over 20 years, Brad started his career working for President of Touchstone Homes Bryan Cohen in land acquisition. After leaving his first position, he co-founded Capital Partners Development Company and forged partnerships with Marty Kennedy and other industry groups. After unwinding Capital Partners Development Company and working for NAI Brannen Goddard, Brad co-founded Blue River Capital Development nine years ago.
Michael Cooper said, “We grew up in Gwinnett County, and we’ve been native to Atlanta for our entire growth of entrepreneurship.”

A former member of the United States Navy, Michael Cooper completed a tour at Top Gun Naval Airstrike Warfare Center and gained valuable insight into the importance of systems-based operations in a high-stress environment. After leaving the Navy, Michael started an accounts receivable management firm where he applied his knowledge of systems-based processes to the finance industry. His long history in finance provided him with a wealth of knowledge to lean on as he progressed throughout his career, forging innovative developments and evolution.

In 2013, Michael joined his brother and combined his passion for systems-based operations with Brad’s passion for the homebuilding and development industry.
The result? A Top Gun approach to developing land that is highly systemized.
“It’s been great because Michael and I are the perfect marriage. Not only are we brothers and best friends, but our skill sets are very different but also very aligned,” Brad said. “Very few people in this industry are systemized at their approach to acquiring land.”

Blue River Development, LLC is a nationally recognized Atlanta-based firm that is an industry leader in land sales and development. Led by the talented Cooper Brothers team, the company contains more than 20 years of valuable experience and directly impacts the communities it serves through development, acquisition and philanthropic contributions.

With 1,000 lots in progress in Henry County, the company is currently developing Symphony Park. The community consists of 499 residential units, which include a mix of multi-family apartments, single-family attached and detached townhomes. The mixed-residential community uniquely includes built-in retail with proximity to a local Publix supermarket. In addition, the company has entered the Charlotte, North Carolina market where they are developing two communities.
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July 26th

Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC has expanded into Charlotte, North Carolina. Currently, two developments are in process with other options in the works for a total of 500 lots.
With more than 6,000 total lots in some form of due diligence, entitlements and construction across the Southeast, the Blue River Development team has more than 20 years of experience in acquiring and developing nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects.
“Charlotte will be our second home,” Managing Principal Brad Cooper said. “Charlotte currently has a population of 2.9 million in its MSA. It has grown 20% in the last 10 years and is expected to grow another 15% by 2030.”

“There are tremendous growth opportunities for builders and developers in the market,” Cooper said. “With massive job growth and infrastructure problems that have stalled the ability to build much-needed housing in the market, it has a lot of pent-up demand. Once the market starts moving forward, it will outpace Atlanta in terms of percentage of growth.”

Blue River Development Strategic Partner Michael Meshkaty and Land Acquisition Manager Chase Mallein will spearhead entry in Charlotte. Together they will tag team finding organic leads and tracking the market effectively.
Charlotte is the second-largest financial capital in the country with high income, millennial-driven growth. Lots of technology, distribution and financial jobs are available. It is a well-educated, well-rounded market for anyone who wants to live or work there, not to mention a good value.

Prices in Charlotte are not as inflated as other large markets on the West Coast and in the Northeast. The cost of living is more affordable, and homebuyers get a better value for their money, which has been one of the primary drivers of growth in Charlotte.

“There are lots of first-time and move-up buyers in the area. Basically, you can head in any direction in Charlotte and hit an established or a growing market,” Cooper comments. “Millennials just starting to buy homes and will continue for next 10 years, especially along the burgeoning I-85 corridor.”

“We are very optimistic about the growth in Charlotte. “We will make sure we do our part to create much-needed value in single-family and multifamily real estate development” Meshkaty said. “We are looking for land and opportunities within 40 miles in any direction from the center of the city.

Blue River Development will focus on multiple development corridors including the I-85 corridor from Kings Mountain, Gastonia and Belmont through to Harrisburg, Concord, Kannapolis, China Grove and Salisbury; the I-77 corridor from Rock Hill, Indian Land and Fort Mil up to Huntersville, Lake Norman, Mooresville, Troutman and Stateville, the Hwy 321 corridor from York and Clover to Dallas, Lincolnton, Newton and Hickory; and the Hwy 16 corridor from Midland to Albermarle. These areas are well established or on the path of growth and have a long runway.

The Blue River Development team has more than 20 years of experience in developing and acquiring nearly $2 billion in residential, multifamily and retail projects. The firm’s achievements are driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.
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JUNE 14, 2022 

Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC recently donated 1.5 acres to the City of McDonough for a new fire department, as well as 2+ acres to expand New Creation Christian Academy. These latest contributions are a part of the developer’s commitment to directly impacting the areas it serves.

The 2.07 acres donated to New Creation Christian Academy sit adjacent to 62 acres of land Blue River Development recently sold to Pulte Homes on Lake Dow Road in McDonough, Georgia. Church plans for the donated land include a sports complex to host on-campus games and meets.

“The Blue River Development team looks forward to our donation helping the school further its athletic programs,” Managing Principal Brad Cooper said. “While we are best known for bringing quality developments to metro Atlanta, we also appreciate the impact our philanthropic efforts bring to those areas as well.”

The donation to the City of McDonough is earmarked as the future site of a fire station adjacent to Symphony Park, a master-planned community being developed by Blue River. Upon completion, Symphony Park will feature cottages, townhomes and single-family homes for growing families, as well as apartment options. In addition to the peace of mind an on-site public safety hub provides, residents will also enjoy community-exclusive amenities and walkability to local schools, shopping centers and more.

Primarily focused on the City of McDonough and other metro Atlanta municipalities, nationally recognized Blue River Development is an industry leader in land sales and development. The developer strives to directly impact the communities it serves through thoughtful land use and philanthropic contributions.

Having been involved in the development, acquisition and disposition of nearly $2 billion in projects including residential lots, multifamily units and retail projects, the Blue River Development team has 20+ years of experience. The firm’s success is driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.
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Atlanta-based Blue River Development, LLC recently closed on more than 1,000 lots in Henry County as part of multiple future communities. Spread amongst five McDonough neighborhoods that have since sold to leading builders in the area, homes will include single-family detached, attached townhome and apartment options, many of which include popular community amenities.
Highlights of the transactions include:
  • Symphony Park: Roughly 108 acres with 499 residential lots.
  • Trinity Park: 113 residential lots.
  • Barrett Farms: About 62 acres with 135 residential lots.
  • Airline Road: Approximately 96 acres with 113 residential lots.
  • North Ola Crossing: Almost 81 acres with 95 residential lots.

“The team at Blue River Development is devoted to delivering much-needed housing options to the areas we serve,” Managing Principal Brad Cooper said. “After 5 years of rezoning, permits and listening to community feedback, we are most excited to see Symphony Park come together.”

Symphony Park will serve as a multi-generational master-planned community of millennial-focused apartments, cottages, townhomes and single-family homes for growing families. Each section, the for-sale residential and apartments, will feature its own resident-exclusive amenities, and the community’s walkable location will offer unmatched convenience to local schools, shopping centers and more.
Blue River Development is a nationally recognized, industry-leading, land sales and development team focused on the City of McDonough and other municipalities throughout the metro Atlanta area. Blue River Development strives to have a direct impact on the communities it serves through thoughtful land use and philanthropic contributions.

Its team possesses more than 20 years of experience, having been involved in the development, acquisition and disposition of nearly $1 billion in projects including thousands of residential lots, multifamily units and retail developments. The firm’s success is driven by its ability to provide and catalog the most up-to-date market intel, the ability to execute on that data and its accountability to clients and investors.
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Brookhaven order to pay millions over mishandled development deal
By Randy Allen | March 10, 2022 

BROOKHAVEN, Ga. – A jury has ordered the city of Brookhaven to pay more than $6 million in damages for how the mayor and city manager handled a development project that started in 2017.
Had things worked out the way Atlanta-based Ardent companies wanted, the homes near Buford Highway and Bramblewood Drive wouldn’t be there today. They’d be in the process of becoming more than 200 townhomes on the 17-acre plot of land.
The developer’s attorney (Simon Bloom) said there’s a reason why the saying goes “you can’t sue City Hall,” but he hopes this case will make people in powerful positions act cautiously.

Posted in NewsResultsShannan F. OliverSimon H. Bloom
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Wall Street’s $85 Billion Housing Bet Intensifies U.S. Land Boom
Prashant Gopal
and Patrick Clark
January 28, 2022

Investors are snapping up lots to build an empire of suburban rental homes. 

For the U.S., the housing shortage is a crisis. For Wall Street, it’s a land rush. Institutional investors from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to the Arizona State Retirement System are pouring billions into their next big housing bet: building communities of single-family homes in the suburbs for renters getting priced out of homeownership. Finding tenants is the easy part, as millennials with children, dogs and the need for remote-work space outgrow the confines of apartment living. But to succeed, landlords and their backers have to outcompete homebuilders for labor, materials and, most of all, land. That’s contributing to skyward costs that are rippling through the market — meaning prices for newly built homes may climb even further out of reach for would-be buyers.

Single-family landlords, builders, apartment companies and institutional backers have committed $85 billion for build-for-rent projects, enough to develop 315,000 houses, according to Alan Ratner, an analyst at housing research firm Zelman & Associates. Only about 20% of the money has been spent and it’s already pushing up lot prices, he said. Two-thirds of land sellers surveyed by the firm late last year said for-sale builders are now going toe-to-toe with rental investors.

“You’ve got this new industry that’s cropped up overnight, backed by Wall Street,” Ratner said. “Very quickly the capital raised is competitive with the homebuilder universe.”

The shift to new construction is the next step in Wall Street’s bet that the American Dream will tilt more toward rentership. A decade ago, private equity firms helped stabilize housing in the wake of the financial crisis by scooping up foreclosures at fire-sale discounts and renting them to former homeowners with bad credit, an industry that rapidly grew and broadened in scope.
But now home listings are disappearing fast, prices are soaring and many investors prefer building rental communities from scratch over the inefficient process of buying existing houses, one by one, one bidding war to the next. Grouping houses closer together also makes them easier to manage, eliminating the need to deploy workers to single-family homes scattered across a wide geography.
“Investors are buying everything from finished homes to entitled land and anything you can imagine to get scale,” said Margaret Whelan, chief executive officer of Whelan Advisory Capital Markets, a boutique investment bank focused on homebuilders. See also: JPMorgan Property Fund Reaches Deal to Develop New Rental Homes
The business is so appealing that traditional homebuilders are diving in themselves. Lennar Corp. has teamed up with Centerbridge Partners and Allianz Real Estate to commit $4 billion to build and acquire purpose-built rentals. PulteGroup Inc., meanwhile, inked a deal to develop 7,500 houses for Invitation Homes Inc., the biggest single-family landlord in the U.S.
That means resources are getting diverted from the production of for-sale houses while at the same time helping to alleviate the rental shortage.
The effects are being seen in Sun Belt areas, where investors are most heavily concentrated, said T.A. “Kip” Hyde Jr., chief financial officer of Reeder Capital Partners, a Dallas-based family office with a land-development division that got a $100 million credit facility from Fortress Investment Group. He recently made an offer for a parcel in North Carolina for a homebuilder customer, only to see a build-for-rent company come in with an unsolicited bid of about 15% more.
“We have to go over this with the homebuilder with revised models and ask, ‘At what price are you out?’” Hyde said. “It’s inflationary — it translates into an increase in the home price for the end user.”

Deals Accelerate
The build-for-rent market is small so far, with 14,000 houses under construction nationwide, according to data from listing service RentCafe. But it’s growing fast: Nationally, about 6% of finished lots purchased in the fourth quarter were for rental-house projects, up from 3% a year earlier, data from John Burns Real Estate Consulting show. In the Southeast, which includes hot spots in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia, the share was 14%. The price of lots across the country jumped 17% in the fourth quarter, more than double the annual pace of growth two years earlier. Until the second half of last year, it wasn’t penciling out for single-family rental companies to pay a premium for lots, said Greg Vogel, chief executive officer of Land Advisors Organization in Scottsdale, Arizona, which brokered $4.4 billion in land transactions in 2021. Then rental demand went through the roof, fueled by pandemic moves and soaring prices in the for-sale market.
Rents for U.S. single-family homes jumped by a record 12% in November, three times the annual growth pace a year earlier, according to data from CoreLogic. They surged 33% in Miami and almost 20% in Phoenix.
“This is just math and the math is beginning to prove they can pay more,” Vogel said. Read more: Housing Hunt Turns to Desperation With Record Rise in U.S. Rents
Mark Wolf, a pioneer in the build-for-rent business who founded his now San Antonio, Texas-based AHV Communities in 2013, said the big-money newcomers are making aggressive bids. Their cottage-style projects, in particular, squeeze more homes onto the same acreage, allowing them to pay more for land.
It’s a mistake to discount the risk of a future rent pullback, Wolf said.
“They’re putting these homes 30 or 40 minutes outside town,” he said. “It’s irrational exuberance to assume if you build it, they will rent it.”
Jordan Kavana, CEO of rental company Transcendent Electra, said firms like his can approach land acquisition differently than for-sale builders. It takes time to complete communities of homes, which the company plans to own and operate for years. So it’s better to stockpile land before it goes even higher. Earlier this month, his firm reached a $1.25 billion deal to acquire lots in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.  “It’s a land-constrained market and we’ve seen values go up,” Kavana said. “We may be able to pay more, because we’re long-term holders.”
Investors betting on rentals have another reason to be bullish: The Federal Reserve’s march to raise interest rates may squeeze already-pinched homebuyers and stall the for-sale market.
“As mortgage rates rise over the next year, the monthly payment will go meaningfully higher, pricing more young families out of homeownership,” said Brad Hunter, a housing economist who advises large-scale developers on land purchases. “And the option of renting a brand-new single-family home in a professionally managed, cohesive subdivision will become that much more attractive.”
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​​​​​America is short more than 5 million homes
Diana Olick
CNBC Real Estate Correspondent
September 14th, 2021

Anyone searching for a home today knows full well the pickings are slim. The supply of U.S. homes for sale is near a record low, and the gap between supply and demand is widening.
The U.S. is short 5.24 million homes, an increase of 1.4 million from the 2019 gap of 3.84 million, according to new research from
The U.S. Census found that 12.3 million American households were formed from January 2012 to June 2021, but just 7 million new single-family homes were built during that time. Single-family home construction has suffered from a severe labor shortage that began well before the pandemic but was then exacerbated by it. Supply chain disruptions in the past year have pushed prices for building materials higher, and as pandemic-induced demand soared, prices for land increased as well.

While new household formation is actually slower than it was before the pandemic, homebuilders would have to double their recent new home production pace to close the gap in five to six years. A new household can be either owner-occupied or rented.
“The pandemic has certainly exacerbated the U.S. housing shortage, but data shows household formations outpaced new construction long before Covid. Put simply, new construction supply hasn’t been meeting demand over the last five years,” said chief economist Danielle Hale. “Millennials, many of whom are now in their 30s and even 40s, have debunked the industry’s ‘renter generation’ expectations.”
Household formation is when an individual moves out of a shared living situation.
Single-family home construction has been rising steadily since it bottomed in 2009 during the Great Recession. It is still not as high as it was just before the housing boom and is actually running at the slowest pace since 1995, according to the U.S. Census. The slower pace comes as the largest generation enters its typical homebuying years.
PulteGroup, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, just lowered its Q3 and full-year guidance for home closings, citing supply chain disruptions.
“Despite the extraordinary efforts of our trade partners, the supply chain issues that have plagued the industry throughout the pandemic have increased during the second half of the year,” Pulte CEO Ryan Marshall said in a release. “We continue to work closely with our suppliers, but shortages for a variety of building products, combined with increased production volumes across the homebuilding industry, are directly impacting our ability to get homes closed to our level of quality over the remainder of 2021.”
Other builders are citing the same issues. Some, including Pulte, have said they are slowing sales themselves in order to keep up with their backlog of demand. As a result, stocks of the builders have been trading significantly lower over the past week.
Due to the shortage, prices for new and existing homes are rising at a record pace. For new construction, which has always come at a price premium, homes with a median value of $300,000, which is considered relatively affordable, represented 32% of builder sales in the first half of 2021, down from 43% during the same period in 2018.
Builders simply can’t afford to produce cheaper homes, given their rising costs.
“No matter how you frame the scenario, it will take a more meaningful shift in the pipeline to meet demand in the foreseeable future,” Hale said.

The following chart looks at affordability data since the 1990s. Since that time, the average affordability index has been around 140, indicated by the horizontal line. And it's pretty darn obvious what threw us off that line...

The housing bust in 2009 sharply increased the affordability index by decreasing the average price of homes. Only now are we settling back toward our long-term affordability average of roughly 140. Take a look...

The takeaway is clear.

People hate that housing prices are up, but that hasn't dramatically slowed purchasing. And more important, the average American is still able to afford a mortgage based on this measure.

So, when does this building boom end?

It all comes down to supply and demand.
111321 dw housing affordability from 1990
111321 dw new housing starts