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Defying the housing slowdown

Home building is in the doldrums, but some development is still happening - from condos on the coasts to tract homes in the suburbs. Here's a sample of 5 projects in development.

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Outside of Dallas
Outside of Dallas
One of the models available for sale in Coppell, Tex.
Type of development: Medium- to high-end, single-family homes
Number of homes: 56
Price: $549,000 and up

Texas is one of the markets that never bubbled, and, as a result, the bust is treating kindly. According to the National Association of Realtors, prices in the Dallas area dipped a mere 4.8% to a median of $138,000 in last three months of 2008.

Meanwhile, the population of the metro area continued to boom, gaining 147,000 in the 12 months ended July 1, 2008, to top 6.3 million. That was the biggest increase of any metro area in the nation, and it fueled the demand for new homes.

Toll Brothers, a builder of up-scale houses, is developing 56 lots in the expensive suburb of Coppell. There are nine different designs available, ranging from 3,150 to 5,124 square feet and starting at $549,000. A typical choice, the Monfort, is a Mediterranean design with Spanish tile roof, four beds and baths, a formal dining room and three living areas, including a game room.

According to Rob Paul, a division president for the company, the key to launching this development was the steady demand in the area and exclusivity. "There's no competition in that school district," he said. "New home starts are way down."

Toll Brothers sold 14 homes before even breaking ground, which will occur during the next two weeks. "Historically, we see some presales when you first open and a resurge when the model home is done," said Paul.
NEXT: Jupiter, Fla.
Last updated April 07 2009: 10:14 AM ET
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