The Emergence of Agrihoods

Great article on farmland replacing golf courses as an amenity to sell real estate.

Market Watch Article

These conservation developments, or “Agrihoods” as the Urban Land Institute has titled, have become increasingly popular over the past several years.  With a decrease of North American’s playing golf (National Golf Foundation states that there has been a 30% decline in the last 20 years), coupled with the trend of farm-to-table, it has been a natural fit to incorporate urban and semi-rural farming into communities. The demographic of buyers who are residing in Agrihoods seem to be similar to those who purchased in golf course communities, affluent families in middle to upper income brackets.

The article profiles Serosun Farms outside of Chicago, which is currently in an early development stage:

It’s very early in its development, but Serosun plans to incorporate about 160 acres of working farmland, making farm-to-table a way of life for residents through regular farmer’s markets. The community also offers eight miles of trails, an equestrian center and fishing ponds: 75% of the development will be reserved for farming and open space.

The 114 single-family homes range from $700,000 to $2 million; the median listing price for homes in Hampshire, Ill., is about $238,000, according to Realtor.com. (Realtor.com is owned by News Corp., as is MarketWatch.) The higher price for homes at Serosun reflects the cost of having all that open space, as well as sustainable features such as geothermal heating systems. “There is a reason developers try to put as many dwellings as they can on a site, as preserving land comes at a premium,” DeWald said.

The typical buyer might be a business executive who can have quick access to Chicago via commuter train and O’Hare International Airport 35 miles away, yet can have his or her children to grow up on a farm. Those looking to retire on a farm — but without the hassle of managing the land — might also be drawn to the development, DeWald said. (The farm is a standalone business that is professionally managed, but residents can be involved in various gardening activities if they wish.)

SerosunFarms

Serosun Farms – Image credited to The Daily Herald

It would be intriguing to investigate the “average” homebuyer for a house in an Agrihood.  Due to the large land requirements and upkeep, will Agrihoods only be attainable for families with relatively high-incomes?  Is there a way to increase density and provide affordable multi-family units within an Agrihood?

This blog will continue to explore Agrihoods over the next several months in a more in-depth basis.

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