Horizons land auctions: the half-way point

Horizons: looking at the auctions to date
Horizons: looking at the auctions to date

On Tuesday, November 15th 2016, the Lab launched the Premium members’ Horizons community, a “retro-futuristic” mainland environment featuring 36 residential regions each with 24 parcels available for auction to Premium members, with auctions commencing on Friday, November 18th 2016, with parcels being auctioned in batches of (generally) 10.

Obviously with 864 parcels to auction, it would take some time to get through things. However, the holiday period marked the half-way point in the auctions with 432 parcels auctioned across 18 regions. As Whirly Fizzle and I started monitoring things (largely out of curiosity), and I gave a snapshot at the end of the first weeks of auctions, the half-way point seemed a good opportunity to provide a further snapshot, based on how those 432 regions looked as of Friday, January 6th, 2017.

GENERAL STATUS OF PARCELS FOR BATCH 1 (10 regions) AND BATCH 2 (8 regions)
 Auctioned Parcels Available For (Sold / Rented) Original Auction Others
Sale Rent Either Sold Rented Comm. Resid. Aband Pend Unkn
Batch 1 240 95 55 9 (30) (13) 4 18 1 13 47
Batch 2 192 45 66 24 (3) (3) 7 13 1 0 36
Totals 432 139 121 32 (33) (16) 11 31 2 13 83

Notes

  • Parcels Available For = those parcels bid for and placed immediately on sale / for rent / either
  • Sold / Rented= number of parcels actually sold / rented whether placed for sale  or for rent or either. These set subsets of the Parcels Available For figures, and further breakdowns are provided below
  • Original Auction = those parcels which went directly to private residential use / commercial use during the original auction
    • 4 of the residential parcels may in fact be rented out by bidder
  • Others:
    • Aband = parcels already abandoned by original bidder
    • Pend = regions obtained for sale, but either currently not on sale by bidder (6) or removed from sale by bidder (7 – see sales review, below)
    • Unkn = regions which are not currently in use, nor are they apparently for sale or for rent, and where parcel holders have not responded to enquiries.
RENTAL PARCELS SUMMARY
For Rent Total Rented (16)

Residential Commercial
153 13 3
  • 153 is the total number of parcels available for rent (121), and those offered for rent or purchase (32)
  • Of the 153 parcels currently for rent / rented:
    • 89 are offered through one group of rental operators
    • The remaining 64 are offered through 11 rental groups, with between 1 and 14 parcels on offer per group
  • The average weekly rental for those parcels offered for rent is L$885 (low: L$550; high: L$975)
  • The average weekly rental for parcels offered for sale or rent is L$608 (low: L$495; high: L$800)
PARCEL SALES REVIEW
 Total for Sale Sold (32)
 For Sale Below Bid Price
Residential Commercial Both Re-sale
139 17 10 1 4 20
  • Total for regions on sale does not include those parcels offers for sale or for rent – see rental figures above
  • Of the 139 parcels currently available for sale / sold:
    • 98 are offered by three land sales groups
    • The remaining 41 are offered by 12 land groups / individuals, with between 1 and 12 parcels per individual / group
    • 5 parcels are on sale at prices above L$100,000, ranging from L$112,000 (58.98% mark-up on bid prices) to L$249,000 (255.67% mark-up on bid price) by two land holders
  • Average sale prices:
    • Among all 139 parcels for sale:  L$45,408.
    • Among the three biggest parcel sellers (98 parcels): L$37,360
  • The margins between bid price and sale price vary hugely, between just 2.42% (L$41,000 on a bid price of L$40,033) through to 231.38% (L$199,999 on a bid price of L$62,232)
  • Some 45 parcels have been reduced in price since first being offered for sale
    • The average mark-down on their original price being approximately 25.88%
    • 20 are current for sale at below their original bid price
      • Average drop below bid price: 17.44%
      • Largest drop 50.02% – sale price of L$15,000 on original bid of L$30,010
      • Smallest drop is 0.3% – sale price of L$38,000 on original bid of L$38,010
      • The majority of these drops have been to parcels auctioned in the first batch, and bring prices down to more closely match the prices of parcels the same bidders are selling on other Horizons regions
  • Of the four regions purchased and flipped for re-sale, 3 are by residents without an associated land group / business; one is by another land company active in Horizons.

Commercial Activities

Commercial activities are largely stores (avatar accessories, building materials etc.). Two adult club environments are within Horizons and one sci-fi themed bar.

Approximate Revenue Breakdown

The following table gives a breakdown of approximate revenue across the 18 regions auctioned to date. The US $  value is based on L$260 to the $.

APPROXIMATE AUCTION REVENUES – BATCH 1 AND BATCH 2
Auction Batches Approx L$ Raised Through Auction
Approx US $ (at L$260 / US $)
Batch 1 (10 regions / 240 parcels) 8,714,966.00 33,519.10
 Batch 2 – (8 regions / 192 parcels) 4,309,833.00 16,576.28
TOTALS: 13,024,799.00 50,095.38

Unsurprisingly, the two regions with direct access to open water (that is, parcel which directly access water, with no intervening protected land) – Apollo and Pandora, both located on the south side of Horizons and facing Zindra across water open for sailing / boating, drew the most competitive bidding.

BATCH 1 BY REGION (All 24 Parcels per Region)
Region Total L$
Approx US $
Highest
Lowest
Direct Water Access
Apollo 962,882.00 3,703.39 L$80,000 L$29,787 (x2) 6 parcels
Astrid 749,142.00 2,881.32 L$45,009 L$27,087 (x2) None
Galatea 882,008.00 3,392.34 L$70,010 L$27,010 None
Halley 857,738.00 3,298.99 L$60,010 L$27,111 None
Mercury 903,371.00 3,474.50 L$60,010 L$28,110 None
Nova 857,107.00 3,296.57 L$65,010 L$27,110 None
Pandora 1,029,400.00 3,959.23 L$102,454 L$27,110 (x2) 6 parcels
Polaris 960,663.00 3,694.86 L$60,020 L$27,111 None
Thule 785,673.00 3,021.82 L$45,565 L$27,087 None
Triton 726,982.00 2,792.08 L$40,033 L$26,010 None

The second batch of regions auctioned drew considerably lower value bids, with the third batch of regions more-or-less matching the second thus far.

BATCH 2 BY REGION (All 24 Parcels per Region)
Region Total L$
Approx US $
Highest
Lowest
Direct Water Access
Atlas 542.964.00 2,088.32 L$40,010 L$15,010 None
Celeste 495,317.00 1,905.07 L$30,010 L$12,022 None
Halo 461,464.00 1,774.86 L$32,010 L$13,038 None
Neptune 583,522.00 2,244.32 L$40,121 L$12,121 None
Orion 589,377.00 2,266.83 L$37,799 L$15,009 None
Pluto 521,321.00 2,005.08 L$40,000 L$13,039 None
Sirius 580,799.00 2,233.84 L$42,010 L$12,455 None
Venus 535,069.00 2,057.96 L$40,033 L$26,010 None

General Observations

Outside of those bidding on the parcel lots, there appears to be little direct interest from Premium members in obtaining a property within Horizons. Some may be put off by the Adult rating, others by the lack of any covenant. While the high price of bids places during the first batch of auctions might be considered a reason, the second batch of auctions averages close to half the per parcel bid price of the initial batch, and still generated little direct take-up. This appears to be the case with the third batch.

Rentals  – which should allow non-Premium members to gain a parcel within Horizons if they wished – are currently gaining little traction, although this could be own to lack of promotion on the part of the rental groups. Obviously, the advantage of Mainland holding is they are not a tremendous drain on resources in the way that partially occupied private regions can be.

There may be a follow-up report at the conclusion of the bidding. Or at least a summary of potential revenues. Putting this report together was too much like hard work!

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8 thoughts on “Horizons land auctions: the half-way point

  1. So many things the few lindens assigned to SL could be doing – yet someone at the top still thinks it’s a good idea to compete with their own customers :/

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    1. In fairness, Horizons was developed in response to pleas for the Lab to “do” something about Mainland – which is itself a thorny issue by its very nature (how can you “do” anything “about” it, with potentially causing a lot of disruption along the way, or investing a large amount of time and effort in to determining what belongs to whom, where this or that might be moved, etc) – although admittedly, there are some things which might be tweaked and poked at to make Mainland a little “better” in some cases.

      Also, and out of curiosity, how do you define “few” in terms of the numbers working on SL? There was a period of time when a lot of resources were pivoted away from SL to kick-start Sansar. However, since then, the Lab has been actively recruiting into both teams, and there are “older” hands at LL who swing between both Sansar and SL. So really, we don’t have a clear idea of the size of the front-end SL development team, other than it would appear to be smaller than previously, but “smaller” doesn’t necessarily equate to “few”. Also, it’s probably worth pointing out that Horizons was, outside of the coding for the 6-region game environment, largely something that came out of the Second Life land product team and the LDPW, rather than drawing heavily on developer time.

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    1. The potential draw is, unlike Linden Homes, those obtaining parcels on the Horizons regions are not necessarily restricted to the default home designs provided on the land – these can be removed and replaced by anything the user chooses (although hopefully in keeping with the the “retro sci-fi” theme.

      While this means that the LI for any house not supplied with the parcel *will* count towards the total parcel allowance (the supplied houses are all anchored *outside * of the parcel, so their LI doesn’t count towards the total allowance), as all the parcels have a 2x object bonus, and thus a 702 LI capacity (also the second potential draw for the parcels), doing so should make too much difference.

      A third potential draw is seen as the linking infrastructure – the public road and water system, which unlike Linden Homes, gives the regions a sense of interconnectedness and “community” in that there is a means to move around, drive, go boating go flying, (using the water-side rezzing zones around the regions to rez a bot or flying vehicle, if required). And then there is the Horizons Experience on the doorstep.

      But, at the end of the day, the appeal is subjective. Some may find these points of interest, others may not. As a Premium member, if I did not have a private island, or had issues in continuing to pay tier on that space, I’d actually be considering a Horizons parcel a lot more aggressively, simply because it would give me what I need: a decent LI allowance, access to water to boating without necessarily having to jump to Blake Sea, room in the sky, and somewhere to park myself, at what amounts to well under 50% of my annual outlay in holding a small private island with just under half the LI allowance offered by a Horizons parcel. I’m not a great fan of the default designs on the regions, but I could live with them (or hide somewhere high overhead.

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  2. Hmm. New region with the same awful housing present in the other Premium regions. Why can’t Linden Labs create some nice looking housing instead of the campy cartoonish things they foist on people with no way to improve on anything and awful prim limits. That’s probably why some of the region purchases were abandoned, very low limits on prims mixed with frankly childish-looking structures. I’ve been to the Premium residential regions and honestly, only the modernist and the mountain cabins held any form of interest for my group of people or myself. The others (the Fairy region especially) could be summed up in what one of the people in my group commented: “The people who would be interested in these buildings are too young to be in Second LIfe,” and she was right. Some of these places verge on childish in design and execution.
    Linden Labs needs to design for the people it allows into its sims: people over the age of 18 (in the U.S.) and legally adults elsewhere. If they did that, there wouldn’t be as many abandoned locations and houses in the Premium Residential parks.

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    1. I hate appearing argumentative, but i8n terms of Horizons:

      “Why can’t Linden Labs create some nice looking housing instead of the campy cartoonish things they foist on people with no way to improve on anything and awful prim limits.”

      The houses within the Horizons regions are optional. You can remove and replace them with anything of your choice – although it does count towards the overall LI. As to the LI / prim limit, the parcels have exactly the same limit as any other 1024 sq metre parcel: 361 – which is doubled by the 2x object bonus to 702 LI, which is actually a significant amount. Certainly, and with the use of good mesh design or the considered use of Convex Hull on modifiable prim builds, it should be enough to offer a comfortable house space without eating into the entire allowance.

      Any thing beyond this means either increasing the land size or thinning-out the builds to allow for a hight object bonus. Either way, that risks something like Horizons competing more directly with the land market elsewhere – which wouldn’t be popular.

      “That’s probably why some of the region purchases were abandoned” – In fairness only two out of 432. Which, while they happened relatively quickly after the auctions, is still 0.46% of the total. Hardly a number of significance.

      On the broader design front, I tend to agree; I’m not overly enamoured with the Horizons designs, and the Linden Homes designs (which are an entirely different entity) left me feeling the same way, with the exception of the A-Frame style of units, which at least look the part.

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