City council unanimously approved South Farm Development LLC to develop a new subdivision at the west end of Roberts Drive at its Sept. 17 meeting.
“The city is trying to get additional housing inventory, because that's one of the most asked about requests that I get from constituents,” said Councilor Glenn Ellerbe. “And because I'm running for city council, again, one of the things that I am very interested in moving for is getting inventory here.”
The new subdivision known as a “cluster development” is designed for young professionals and empty nesters, according to the developer. It offers single family houses on very small lots with a homeowner’s association that handles all outside maintenance and yard work. The South Farm development will include 25 single-family homes with an estimated price range of $250,000- $300,000.
John Boyle, president of JNB Custom Homes, which will build the project, does not see the price range as an issue.
“There are two size houses, on the lower end it will be in the vicinity of $200,000 and the bigger home, with full amenities, could be as much as $300,000,” he said. “The majority of them will be between $225-250,000.”
Oxford Economic Development Director Allan Kyger told the council these homes are not considered low-income, affordable housing, but that is not a concern because Oxford needs more housing options for the marketed clientele: ages 30-65.
“When you have a lower supply, it’s going to create a higher demand and drive prices up. When you build more housing, you have more housing available it’s going to produce a higher supply and bring the prices down to meet the market,” he said.
The council believes people who want a single-family home with a small yard where they do not have to do any outside maintenance will be willing to pay for that commodity.
“That’s a very attractive option,” Ellerbe said. “Those are the kinds of homes that people aren't going to stay for two or three years and leave. They're pretty much in that house until they have to get carried out.”
According to the 2010 Demographic Profile Data for the U.S. Census Bureau, 47% of the total Oxford population is between the ages of 20-24.
“We need to grow Oxford,” Kyger said. “We need more full-time residents.”
“Thirty to 65-year olds are your core value and the core people you need in your community," he said. "They’re the highest wage earners, they have the most disposable income and they’re the ones that get involved. That is who we need in our community.”
Boyle hopes to have homes built by June 2020.