Epcon Communities: Increase In Inquiries And Contracts Signal Turnaround Underway In Active Adult Housing Market
DUBLIN, Ohio, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The long-awaited turnaround in the housing market may finally be underway, at least in the Active Adult segment, if data provided by Epcon Communities are any indication.
Epcon Communities, a leading homebuilding and land development franchise operator based in Dublin, Ohio, has released data that show a significant uptick in homebuilding and home buying activity in recent months, and even greater growth since the beginning of 2012 alone.
Inquiries by builder partners to explore the opportunity to become an Epcon Communities franchise builder began to accelerate in July 2011, with an even greater spike beginning in October of last year and carrying through to the first three months of 2012. Whereas the number of Q1 inquiries were five and 11 in 2010 and 2011 respectively, Epcon Communities has already received more that 30 requests from potential franchisees in the first three months of this year.
Already in 2012, Epcon Communities has initiated or executed more new franchise agreements in the first quarter than the company had in the entire three years prior, combined.
On the demand side of the equation, Epcon Communities builder partners have more new home communities pending or under construction in the first quarter of 2012 alone than they started in the entirety of the three previous years, indicating that builders are moving quickly to serve a loosening, more motivated buying market.
Home sales at Epcon Communities have increased nearly 230% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the first quarter of 2011.
"For more than 25 years we have recognized the pent-up demand in the Active Adult housing segment," said Jason Coffee, business development manager at Epcon Communities, "as the Baby Boomer market has been historically underserved for product catering to its unique housing preferences.
"Though the economic slowdown tamped down some of the buying enthusiasm in 2009, this pent-up demand could not be staved off forever," said Nanette Overly, vice president of sales and marketing for Epcon Communities. "Now we are seeing Baby Boomers, Empty Nesters and other Active Adults determining that now is the time to downsize, right-size or simply unencumber themselves from the expense and upkeep of the house they've maintained for years."
Epcon Communities' attached and detached condominium communities feature amenities—such as walking and biking paths, zero-entry universal design, community gathering clubhouses, outdoor courtyards, exercise facilities, bonus suites and maintenance-free living—that are of particular appeal to Baby Boomers and young professionals alike.
"We've built our brand and our business around catering to the needs of this market," Overly continued. "As a company, Epcon Communities has long held that the Baby Boomer generation would drive preferences and changes in the housing market, and we believe this will continue with the housing market turnaround as well. They will drive it."
The data Epcon Communities looks at each day seem to bear that out. Year-to-date franchise opportunity inquiries are up more than 250% since last year, and new franchise agreements and pending communities are each also up more than 200% year over year. Looking at these leading indicators, Epcon Communities is confident that this prolonged increase in both interest and activity suggest a trend, rather than a blip—in both building and buying activity alike.
Coffee said that 2013 could very well be the highly anticipated "snap-back" year the housing market has hoped for. "If it doesn't happen sooner," he added. "So far in 2012, it looks like it may already be upon us, at least in the Active Adult market."
Founded in 1986, Dublin, Ohio-based Epcon Communities is one of the leading developers and franchise operators of condominium developments in the United States. Currently with 295 communities in 30 states, Epcon Communities' long-term goal is to expand to all 50 states and Canada. For more information, please visit www.epconcommunities.com.
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