New Home Sales in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County Pick Up The Pace!

New Home Closings in San Luis Obispo Climb According to Newest Data, Prices Steady

Posted on: Mar 07, 2013 07:33:55 AM

In the San Luis Obispo, CA market, closings of new homes jumped year-over-year in December, and the increase was greater than November 2012. New home closings moved from 12 a year earlier to 52 after the figure moved from eight in November 2011 to 15 in November 2012.

A total of 154 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 114 for the year that ended in November.

New home closings were 52 out of 420 total closings, making up 12.4%. This is up on a percentage basis from 12 of 366 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also rose year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average per-unit price of new homes was $442,185 in December 2012, unchanged from a year ago. This came after a 5.0% decline in November from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes fell from $339,237 to $287,378. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $290,161 in November 2011 to $379,406 in November 2012. For new home closings, the percentage of the sale price that was being financed slid 11.7 percentage points year-over-year to 65.0% in December 2012. In November 2012, there was a 23.3 percentage point surge from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends
The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. Attached closings made up six of 52 new home closings after accounting for one of 12 a year earlier. Meanwhile, single-family homes made up 46 of 52 new home closings after making up 11 of 12 a year earlier.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,069 square feet a year earlier to 1,767 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in December, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 23.1% of closings, below 48.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dipped to 9.5% in December from 17.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 13.6% from 30.5% a year earlier.

Source: Housing Intelligence

New Home Sales and Prices Both Increase in Santa Barbara According to Recent Data

Posted on: Mar 07, 2013 07:34:03 AM

The Santa Barbara, CA market saw a rise in new home closings in December year-over-year, and the increase was greater than November 2012. New home closings moved from six a year earlier to 40 after the figure moved from nine in November 2011 to 19 in November 2012.

A total of 192 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 158 for the year that ended in November.

New home closings were 40 of the 419 total closings, up on a percentage basis from six of 429 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in November, closings of new and existing homes slipped year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average per-unit price of new homes was $642,463 in December 2012, up from $635,250 a year ago. This followed a 34.9% decline in November from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes increased to $434,179 from $417,104 last year. It went from $353,984 to $350,950 from November 2011 to November 2012. Of the overall sale price, the percentage that was being financed rose 1.9 percentage points year-over-year to 67.6% in December 2012. This was another boost after November 2012 when there was a 28.1 percentage point rise from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends
As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have risen from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. Single-family home closings made up 39 of 40 new home closings after accounting for five of six a year earlier. Meanwhile, attached units made up one of 40 new home closings after making up one of six closings a year earlier.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in December from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 30.6% of existing home closings, down from 49.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 11.3% in December from 26.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 19.3% from 23.6% a year earlier.

Source: Housing Intelligence

Source: Matt Power, Senior Marketing Consultant, (805) 845.2660

Sacramento is booming…

As far as residential land goes.

These past few months have been eye opening on the residential land front.  Just when folks were beginning to write the rest of 2012 off as another down and out year like 2011, someone “poked the bear” and got things moving again.  The past few months in Sacramento have been on fire with the builders knocking down the door trying to grab land positions in core markets.  With the finished lot inventories drying up, everything from paper to finished lots have been targets for both public and private builders.  It is reminiscent of the bump we saw in 2009 and 2010, but with the pipeline of finished lots dwindling, REO product drying up and interest rates in the cellar, this party may be just getting started.

Link:

http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/print-edition/2012/10/05/home-price-spurt-correction-new-bubble.html

Source: Ryan Long, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 16

Sacramento… Healing Period?

Over the last 6 months, the Sacramento region has posted solid housing numbers to give the new home builders optimism for the future of this area.  Stuck in the mud for the last 2-3 years, the region looks like it is pulling itself off the bottom and headed in a better direction.  Although REO sales are still plentiful compared to 2005, the trends are positive.

The region should see approximately 15,000 REO sales this year, but that is 15% less than 2011 and 30% of peak 2008 numbers (22,131).  New home sales for the region are expected to almost double what they were for 2011, climbing up well over 3,000 new home sales for 2012.  It also important to note that currently in the region, new home sales account for approximately 3.4% of total home sales and that at the peak of the market, new home sales accounted for approximately 26.3% of the overall home sale market.

With this further evidence of a bottoming of the housing market and plenty of room to mature, builders have anticipated the next boom and they are back buying again. Approximately a half dozen deals have been purchased over the last few months with more builder deals currently in escrow.

Source: Jim Radler, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 11

West Riverside County: 2012 Transaction Characteristics

Market Observations:  So far in 2012, the West Riverside land market is seeing a limited number of finished lot transactions.  The bulk of the land buyer activity is directed at unimproved land, where buyers plan to add value through the entitlement process.

2010/2011 saw a number of sales driven by bank owned REO with a typical escrow calling for a 30-day due diligence period and a 15-day close. The market has absorbed the bank REO projects and land values have remained relatively flat since Q3 of 2010. This dynamic has forced buyers to get more creative when submitting offers in an effort to minimize risk. A number of transactions in 2012 have included the seller carrying back paper on the property for 3-5 years. Since land values have remained flat, seller carry-back works because it generates a higher land value, versus the all-cash deal, and also creates a positive cash flow for the seller from the note interest.

Single Family Detached Market Updates: Homebuilders are continuing to see new home sales success in Temecula and French Valley. Average monthly sales have increased along with sales price. These are all great signs that point to the beginning of a true recovery.

A public homebuilder has closed on an unimproved parcel in Temecula that it intends to develop and build out new homes.  Along the I-15 corridor, a private homebuilder has put some finished lots under contract, and is scheduled to close in 60 days.

Attached Market Updates:  Land Advisors West Riverside Team just announced its latest listing: “Temecula Foothills” – 7 acres in Temecula for a proposed high density residential project (potential for ±140 multi-family for-rent or for-sale units).

Three entitlement escrows are presently in the works in Temecula.  Optimism surrounding the for-rent market continues to circulate in West Riverside Market, specifically Corona and Temecula.

Source: Mitch Casillas, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 23

Central Valley: So Yer Sayin’ There’s A Chance…

Mixed signals are making it quite difficult to predict where the Kern County residential real estate market is headed in the months to come.  Recent headlines from The Bakersfield Californian include:

Then on the flip-side, there’s “Region leads nation in construction job growth.” Hmmm…

New home sales continue to make up a small part of total sales throughout Kern County and beyond at roughly 6%, according to Hanley Wood.  However, it is clear that well located projects with excess finished lot inventory are now appealing to both local and national builders up and down the 99 Corridor (CA SR 99).

The main issue at hand still remains… Although new home sales appear to be picking up, foreclosures and REO’s still make up over 50% of sales, and in many cases, homes are selling for just over $100/Sq. Ft. (Hanley Wood). Many “broken” projects were purchased by investors during the downturn, yet residential lots are still trading at or below replacement cost.

As a consequence, some investors are forced to sell their investments at a loss, or wait until home prices raise so residual lot values eventually increase.

As with every storm, there is a silver lining.  Construction jobs in Bakersfield have recently increased dramatically.  The Bakersfield Metro area added a higher percentage of new construction jobs over the past year than any other market in the United States according to an Arlington, VA trade group. Federal funding from the Thomas Roads Improvement Program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, along with various Health Care industry expansions and upgrade projects are the main contributors to this growth.

In addition, according to Richard Chapman of the Kern County Economic Development Corp., local growth in the manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution sectors has also spurred along recent construction.  Growth and improvement in these areas are so critical as Bakersfield continues its quest to becoming a more dynamic and diverse economy.

Hanley Wood recently ranked Fresno County (#4) and Kern County (#6) in its list of Top Ten California Counties with the highest new home sale projections for 2012.  Land Advisors is asking, “Is this a sustainable positive upward move or just another head-fake?

Source: Jason Hepp, Senior Marketing Consultant, (661) 702-9080

The Good, Bad & the Ugly in Sacramento

Sacramento Arena Deal is DOA…  After a whirlwind of meetings between the NBA, the Maloof family and the City of Sacramento, the prospect of building a new arena for the Sacramento Kings is officially dead.  In countless meetings held in locations all over the country, the Maloofs agreed on the terms initially laid out by all sides to build a new arena, structure financing plans and establish a timeline for build out.  However, a number of empty promises from the Maloofs finally came to light as the owners did the Texas Two Step with the NBA and the City, revealing that the deal is not feasible, (even bringing in the family’s own economist to illustrate).

Now Sacramento and the NBA both have egg on their face, and the public and the fans have more questions and doubts that the Kings will ever be viable in Sacramento.

Along with the proposed new arena was the potential for a new wave of jobs – construction and permanent – as well as a start to the redevelopment of the Sacramento Rail Yards.  A new arena would have meant new retail shops and restaurants as well as an onslaught of new homes.

All of the redevelopment ideas will have to be put on hold while the City and Maloofs try to sort out their mess.  In the meantime, the people of Sacramento are angry – some prominent business leaders are even calling for the ouster of the Maloofs and want new ownership to lead the Kings to prosperity… we will see what happens.

Now onto some good news…  Sacramento foreclosures of existing homes are beginning to slow.  In fact, the number of default notices filed in the first quarter of 2012 is the lowest since early 2007.  This should be welcome news for both home buyers and homebuilders alike.

Sacramento Foreclosures

In the last several years, new homebuilders in the greater Sacramento area have been building and selling new homes with pricing that is in line with REO inventory, and in some cases even selling below it.  As the REO product has been dumped onto the market, home pricing and new homebuilder margins have been steadily decreasing.  The Northern California Team has even seen some builders impair lots that were bought just 18 months ago.

With the change of wind direction in just in the last couple of months, builders have started to sniff around again looking for deals and build pipelines for 2013 and beyond.  Furthermore, absorption rates have started to tick up as demand for new homes builds upward.

It looks like Sacramento is finally coming out of the ashes and is ready to start the slow grind toward home price appreciation.

Source: Ryan Long, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 16

D.R. Horton Hears a Who

While many of the public homebuilders are sitting on the land-buying sidelines this quarter, D.R. Horton hears the call to purchase more land!

Land is scarce in the fictional city of “Whoville” so the D.R. Horton team has taken to several cities in the Inland Empire, and recently closed on transactions in both Eastvale and Chino. 

The Eastvale site consisted of 173 entitled lots just west of the I-15 Freeway. 

Following the mantra of the 1954 book with a similar name, “a deal is a deal no matter how small,” D.R. Horton closed on 43 finished lots in the College Park master planned community. 

In addition, in the first quarter of 2011 Land Advisors assisted D.R. Horton in the acquisition of 53 lots adjacent to California State University – San Bernardino.

2011 TEAM “SB” YEAR IN REVIEW: 

Despite a sluggish market, the San Bernardino Team (Doug Jorritsma & Winn Galloway) participated in several transactions totaling more than $84 million in 2011.  The majority (57%) of transactions was conventional sales; REO’s only accounted for approximately 36% of all transactions.  The Team anticipates the number of REO’s to decline moving into 2012, as many troubled assets have already worked their way through the market. 

On the Buyer side, private investors lead the way totaling 36% of all San Bernardino Team transactions in 2011.  Of the last five transactions, four were purchased by private investors looking for unimproved land for long term hold.   

Echoing the sentiments of the mayor of “Whoville,” “We are here” at Land Advisors to help you with your land needs in 2012.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Source: Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x13 and Winn Galloway, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x27

Spotlight on FOLSOM

Located northeast of Sacramento, the City of Folsom is just south of Folsom Lake in Northern California.  Folsom is currently the most desirable sub-market in the Sacramento Region for homebuilders, where average sales prices of homes are now close to DOUBLE those of the overall region.

Folsom Fast Facts:

  • Residential land north of U.S. Highway 50 traded for $1 million per acre (raw) at the peak of the market in 2005.
  • At the current absorption pace, Folsom will be out of finished lots by 2014/2015.
  • Folsom enjoys a 5.7% unemployment rate (current California unemployment is 12%), and thus has minimal foreclosure activity.
  • Folsom’s schools consistently rank in the upper echelon of school districts not only in the region but in the entire state.

Landmark Folsom REO Property Available for Sale:

Land Advisors Organization is currently marketing Carpenter Ranch – a 1,019-acre master planned community located in Folsom’s Sphere of Influence in Sacramento County.

The property rests along 1.5 miles of Highway 50, and was recently entitled for 2,263 residential units and over 3 million square feet of commercial uses.  Previous investment in the land totals over $100 million.

Source: Jim Radler, Senior Marketing Consultant, at (916) 784-3329 ext. 11.

Has Sacramento Sunk to the Bottom?

  • Property assessments declined 2.9% in the four-county Sacramento area during the 2011-2012 fiscal year.  Read more: www.sacbee.com
  • Distress sales continue to weigh down real estate prices in the Sacramento area, which remained flat during the most recent four-month period.  Read more: www.sacbee.com
  • Last week Sacramento’s arena committee unveiled funding options for a new sports and entertainment center that would use a mix of private and public dollars and user fees.  Read more: www.bizjournals.com
  • Matching federal funds for the Natomas Levee Improvement Project are currently being negotiated at the federal level and should have some direction in November. The hope is to have an “A99” Flood Level Designation by summer 2012.  Check the following website for more information: http://www.safcanlip.org/facts.html.
  • Unemployment is still above 12% for the Sacramento region. Sacramento residents are feeling anxiety over what the State may do with its employees if budget issues continue.
  • Bids are due Wednesday (9/14/11) from interested parties in the unsold condos at the L Street Lofts in midtown.  The $55 million L Street Lofts were originally built by prominent developer Sotiris Kolokotronis. Onewest Bank foreclosed in April on 70 unsold units at the seven-story 92-unit signature condominium project in midtown that struggled to find buyers. 
  • Fixed mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest levels in six decades. But few Americans (including Sacramento home buyers) can take advantage of the rates to refinance or buy a home. Read more: www.builderonline.com 

Source: Jim Radler, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 x11

Fresno?… Fres-YES! Permits, Pigskins & Progress

  • New home sales in Fresno and Madera Counties are still slumping www.ksee24.com
  • City of Fresno & City of Clovis together have 2,200 vacant finished lots.
  • Central San Joaquin Valley Single Family Permits pulled YTD = about 760
  • Foreclosures are down – www.thebusinessjournal.com
  • Fresno County unemployment is still hovering around 17%
  • One public homebuilder made the most notable lot purchase in 2011 – $85,000 per finished lot in a highly desirable area of Clovis
  • This month, the City of Sanger (15 minutes west of Fresno) eliminates development fees for new home construction. www.ksee24.com
  • 3Q 2011 – Land Advisors sold 17 acres in Clovis and 112 partially improved lots in Fresno.  Both were bank REO transactions.
  • Although many REOs sold to investors in 2011, there are still opportunities for investors to buy distressed lots/land.
  • Earlier this year Bonadelle Neighborhoods broke ground on the Brighton Master Plan. The first neighborhood will have 161 lots.  First home closing is scheduled around Thanksgiving. 
  • This summer Wilson Homes began construction on Herndon Avenue, building their new plan called “elev8ions” elev8ions.com
  • Last Saturday Fresno State Bulldogs traveled to Cal Berkeley… unfortunately the “Dogs” lost 36-21.  Next game is this Saturday at Nebraska.

Source: Mark Utman, Marketing Consultant (559) 449-4500 x127

South Central Valley: “Hold on Tight!”

2011 began with renewed optimism that California’s Central Valley residential land market would improve and home sale prices would begin to stabilize.  As Q2 rolled around it became evident this optimism may be short-lived.

In 2011 the Central Valley sub-market (including Kern, Kings, Madera, and Tulare Counties) has seen a slight decrease in foreclosure and REO sales (currently at 32% and 28% respectively); yet new home sales continue to lag far behind at a little over 5% of total sales.

Tertiary markets (including the cities of Arvin, McFarland and Wasco) which traditionally attract builders who utilize government subsidies for potential home buyers are experiencing extended wait periods, or are unable to obtain financing altogether.

Most public homebuilders and larger regional builders have left the valley or “shelved” their projects until the market shows real signs of recovery.

However, there are investors and developers with long-term horizons looking for land/lot opportunities and have been successful in closing transactions throughout the South Central Valley.

Source: Jason Hepp, Senior Marketing Consultant, (661) 702-9080 x14