By Nicholas P. Flint
In response to a number of recent factors, from COVID-19 to riots and higher inner-city crime rates, many states across the country are experiencing a new wave of "urban flight" (see https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-urban-flight-11592777032). In Georgia, the suburbs of Atlanta and even rural parts of the state have seen a sharp uptick in demand for existing and new housing, mostly from Atlantans seeking refuge and additional space.Residential real estate prices are through the roof, and subdivision developers are licking their chops, especially with the relatively large supply of undeveloped land as compared to urban areas. The result: developers cannot buy land and build houses fast enough.
Developers have taken to the streets, approaching landowners and their neighbors often through assemblages of surrounding parcels, flashing high per-acre prices and promises to close quickly. With the demand for raw land being so high, bidding wars among developers have even come into play.But while many of these buyers are serious players, the sad fact is that many are not, with some tying up land by getting it under contract, then trying to simply sell the contract to a serious developer for a profit. Landowners who are approached by buyers must be wary of this tactic, and thoroughly vet the developer through research, as well as negotiation of a seller-friendly purchase agreement.
Nick Flint is an attorney with Flint, Connolly & Walker, LLP who represents clients on a variety of corporate, transactional, and real estate matters. Nick also routinely serves as a general business and legal advisor to his clients, counseling on matters such as corporate governance, executive compensation, regulatory compliance, and commercial contracts.