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.

Demand Rising for (Residential) Land in Fresno

More land buyers than sellers? That’s the story in Fresno today.  In preparing for the economy to rebound, builders are reloading their inventory of buildable lots.  However, finding lots at market rate prices is not easy in Fresno.  Lot inventory has been thinning since 2008 and only a handful of new maps have been recorded or are currently in process at the City.  Inferior locations are still quiet, but residential lots that are in A & B locations are receiving multiple bids.

  • April 2012 Finished Lot Inventory: Fresno = 1,051 Vacant Finished Lots; Clovis = 1,199 Vacant Finished Lots

April 2012 – Land Advisors closed additional finished lots on a rolling takedown to Lennar in southeast Fresno.  The public homebuilder bought the lots as an extension to a legacy project it already has under its wings.

Apartment activity is picking up: This month Santa Barbara Bank & Trust sold 8 acres of unimproved land, approved for 78 multifamily units.

ZONE CHANGE APPROVAL:  On April 4th, the Fresno Planning Commission  unanimously approved plans and a zoning change for a north Fresno 118-home development by McCaffrey Homes with a stipulation that homes on the east side of the project adjacent to the existing Bella Montagna development will be single story.  FULL STORY

  • The 13-acre site was originally zoned for commercial/retail use.  The recent approval by the Planning Commission is controversial for the local residents in the area, and the Fresno City Council will now meet on the issue to vote. (Watch the VIDEO via CBS 47)

GENERAL PLAN UPDATE:  The Fresno GP update calls for a more controlled approach to residential growth. Earlier this month, the Fresno Planning Commission unanimously endorsed Plan A which aims to maintain the current sphere of influence, and protects prime agricultural land from becoming more subdivisions.  Approval is slated for April 19th.

Source: Mark Utman, Marketing Consultant, (559) 549-6326