Provident Bank of Maryland has sold 253 town house lots in Timonium that it repossessed last year to Pulte Home Corp., which is planning its first community in the Interstate 83 corridor at the site off West Padonia Road.
Provident took the land back last year from a partnership led by a unit of NVR L.P., the McLean, Va.-based parent of NVHomes and Ryan Homes. At an auction in August, Provident was unable to sell the lots and ended up buying them back for about $8.05 million.
When the partnership led by NVR, the second-leading homebuilder in the Baltimore market, defaulted on the note last year, it owed more than $11 million.
Michael Schrader, president of Pulte's Baltimore homebuilding operations, said that his company paid less than $8 million for the lots, but he would not elaborate.
Mr. Schrader said that the purchase isn't necessarily a sign that the markets for new homes and new-home lots are bouncing back, despite some encouraging national statistics recently.
"This is not a sign we think something is over," said Mr. Schrader, whose company is a unit of Michigan-based PHM Corp. and was the No. 9 builder in the Baltimore market in the second quarter. "One, Pulte is extremely financially sound. Second, triple A locations are triple A locations. . . . Most properties that go the bank-repossession route are secondary locations."
Mr. Schrader said that Pulte has opened a sales trailer at the community, not far from where Ryan Homes is trying to sell the small number of lots Provident allowed it to retain. A model Pulte home is expected to be open by mid-November.
Mr. Schrader said that the homes, in the Chapelgate-Mays Chapel area of Timonium, will be more "sophisticated, more upscale" than town homes Pulte has built in the Baltimore area before.
Prices will start at about $150,000, well above the $105,000-to- $110,000 starting prices at Pulte's town house developments in Perry Hall and Owings Mills. Pulte also has a development of single-family homes in Owings Mills.
"In that [I-83] corridor, that's a good price," said Robert Lefenfeld, vice president of Legg Mason Realty Group Inc., a Baltimore consulting firm that tracks the new-home market. "It's one of the premier corridors of the region."
Pulte's base prices will be lower than those of town houses at Mays Chapel North, another new-home community across Padonia Road that will be the development's closest competition. Prices for town houses at Mays Chapel North start in the low $160,000s. But James J. Keelty III, the developer of Mays Chapel North, said the price difference doesn't worry him.
"It's no different than when we had Ryan and NV," Mr. Keelty said. "We'll fight it out. We're long-haulers."