California Division: 2012 Year in Review

LAO-CA Infographic 2012 YIR

Source: Tom Reimers, President, (949) 852-8288 x28

Surf & Sales Up in Ventura County

In the last week of March 2012, the California Division of Land Advisors Organization closed the final portion of “The Bungalows at Beach House,” located in Port Hueneme, Ventura County.  The Ventura County Team (Richard Byrd, Randy Coe and Michel Faris) represented the buyer and the seller in the sale of 29 “near finished” lots in the former John Laing Homes community.

The Bungalows at Beach House originally consisted of 64 lots of which 35 have already been built and sold. The 29 subject 4,000 – 5,000 square foot lots sold to Standard Pacific Homes; the seller was a court appointed receiver.

The Port Hueneme deal was a significant transaction in a wave of SEVEN land transactions that the California Division closed in the last week of the first quarter.  The number of transactions rushing to the finish line at the end of the first quarter may signal a broad-based upturn in the California land market, and the diverse characteristics and widespread geographic reach are exemplary of the California Division’s extensive residential land expertise.

“Improved lots are extremely scarce in many markets throughout California,” said Tom Reimers, the California Division’s President.  “The relative success of the spring selling season has caused homebuilders’ supply of buildable lots to dwindle, and is pushing the builders back into the land market for replacement lots.”

VCStar.com reported: In Ventura County, 820 single-family homes and condos were sold in March, compared with 757 in March 2011, an increase of 8.3 percent. In February this year, 606 homes were sold. In January, 561 homes were sold.  The median price for a home sold in Ventura County in March was $350,000, compared with $349,000 in March 2011. READ MORE

Source: Richard Byrd, Senior Marketing Consultant (626) 376-9840 ext. 13; and Michel Faris, Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288 ext. 14.

Window of Opportunity in Ventura County

Land Advisors’ Ventura County Team (comprised of Michel Faris, Randy Coe, and Richard Byrd) are pleased to offer an exciting new listing in the Ventura County submarket. The new ±8-acre listing, known as Northbank Meadows is a rare multi-family development opportunity in the highly desirable yet extremely supply constrained City of Ventura.

Historically, homes within Ventura County are highly sought after by homebuyers because of the County’s easy-going, high-quality beach lifestyle, in addition to its proximity to L.A. County job centers. Longstanding development constraints have kept Ventura County from over-development.  Amid the slow growth, land values in the submarkets are holding steady and homebuilders and developers are taking another glance at opportunities in the area as the macroeconomic environment improves.

County Home Sales Up; Median Price Falls via VCStar.comVentura County home sales increased slightly last month, while median prices continued to drop despite record-low mortgage rates… DataQuick reported that 561 homes sold in Ventura County in January — an increase of 2% compared with the same time last year. The sales include new homes and resold single-family homes and condos.  DataQuick also reported the median price of homes in Ventura County at $322,500, a 7.9% decrease compared with the same time last year. Read more

Source: Michel Faris, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x14

Slow as Molasses in Ventura County

Land development activity is still slow and sticky in Ventura County, as very few land deals have traded hands in the coastal county in recent months.  Landed shared back on September 29th that home buyers are drawn to the region’s beachside lifestyle, but the County’s restrictions on new developments create a very supply constrained and difficult development environment for homebuilders.

In a recent article for HometownStation.com, a representative from the Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California said, “The weakness in single-family construction, which historically has been more consistent than multifamily projects, is further proof that local governments need to work more closely with homebuilders to allow projects to pencil out.”   

The same article reported that 458 multi-family units and only 116 single-family homes were permitted in Ventura County during the first nine months of 2011.

Eighteen single-family home permits were issued in Ventura County in September, compared with two in August and 14 in September 2010. Those homes are being built in Fillmore, Oxnard, Ventura, Simi Valley and unincorporated areas.  Oxnard leads Ventura County in housing starts with 337 year to date, which is by far the most in the County. 

Lenders served 1,535 notices of default in the third quarter in Ventura County, slightly down from the same period last year but up 35.3% from the second quarter.  669 homeowners in the County lost their houses or condominiums in the past three months.

A total of 772 new, condominium and resale homes were sold in Ventura County in September, at a median price of $349,000. This price is down from $355,000 in August.

Source: Michel Faris, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x14

Few Builders Finding Opportunities in Supply Constrained Ventura County

Very few residential land REO’s are available for sale in Ventura County at this time.  Most of the REO properties sold in 2009 and 2010, and now only four remain.

Ventura County’s eight primary cities are desirable locations for homebuilders and developers.  Home buyers are drawn to the region’s beachside lifestyle (good schools, safe cities, rolling hills and wide open spaces).

However, the County’s restrictions on new developments create a very supply constrained environment for homebuilders.  Many homebuilders and developers would love to find the right opportunity at the right price in the area.  Now it’s a matter of finding available deals that pencil in the current economic environment.

Homebuilders currently active in Ventura County:

  • D.R. Horton building in Thousand Oaks
  • Toll Brothers building in Moorpark
  • Standard Pacific Communities and Watt Communities building in Simi Valley
  • Watt Communities, Standard Pacific Homes and Shea Communities building in Oxnard
  • City Ventures building in Ventura

Ventura County Lot Suppy (Source: Hanley Wood):

  • 3,812 Tentative Mapped Lots (Approximately 65% of these lots are located in Ventura and Oxnard)
  • 1,366 Finished Lots (Approximately 60% of these lots are located in Moorpark)

Source: Michel Faris, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x14