The Tehaleh planned community has become the No. 1 homeseller in the Puget Sound region, according to a report from New Home Trends, a local real estate research firm.
The report reviewed new home sales in 499 Pierce, King, Snohomish and Thurston county communities for the first six months of 2013. As of late July, Newland Communities had sold 142 homes in Tehaleh.
“We track the numbers pretty closely, so we knew we were up there but we didn’t know we were number one until that report was published,” Vice President Scott Jones said.
Tehaleh is a planned community immediately south of Bonney Lake, still in its early stages of construction. The site formerly known as Cascadia was originally owned by the Cascadia Development Corporation, and the company’s plans for a “self-contained” community of homes and businesses remained in the works for nearly 20 years. However, the developers defaulted on a $75 million loan debt and HomeStreet Bank foreclosed in 2009. The bank sold the real estate to Newland in 2011 and the first phase of development opened to the public in fall 2012.
A grand opening contest saw Newland award a South Hill man, Jay Bradley, win a $280,000 homebuilding credit. In the past year, the San Diego land developer has campaigned to promote its east Pierce County venture as an opportunity for renters to become owners, according to Marketing Director Ruth Winbauer. Buyers who closed on a home before August 16 were offered a year without homeowners association dues.
So far, Jones said Tehaleh has attracted a little bit of everyone: young families, established families and active older adults. However, homes in the 55-and-older Trilogy community have been the best sellers.
Tehaleh’s current sales lead is a sign of early success for the community, but Newland is approaching development one step at a time. The company’s partner builders are still at work constructing homes in Phase One and executives would like to bring in more buyers before moving on to the next phase, which includes parcels identified for commerce and light industry.
“I think we need to get a few more rooftops (before moving on to Phase Two),” Jones said.