Fresno County Approved TTM Lots Going Once, Twice…

Land Advisors Organization is pleased to say SHOUT! the handful of approved tentative tract maps (TTM) available for sale within Clovis’ city limits have been receiving multiple offers.  The City of Fresno is next to follow where lots previously located in “B” and “C” locations are quickly becoming the new “A” lots.   The time is now for developers and homebuilders to pounce on every reasonably priced TTM.  Call LAO’s Fresno office at (559) 549-6326 for a current list of available inventory.

POLL:  

HOME SALES:

  • Distressed homes sales are on the decline. FULL STORY
  • Home prices are up 18% from a year ago. FULL STORY

NEW DEVELOPMENTS: On November 7, 2012 The Madera County Board of Supervisors re-approved 4-0 the 1,656-acre, 5,190-home Tesoro Viejo planned urban community proposed by McCaffrey Group.

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

WANTED: FRESNO LAND DEVELOPERS

According to Fresno real estate blogger, BoNhai Lee, the City of Fresno says ±16,000 acres of land remain for housing development.  With that being said, Fresno is in need of land developers to entitle and process new tentative tract maps.

Land Advisors Organization’s Fresno office is happy to announce the San Joaquin Valley is (finally!) coming alive in “A” locations.  Builders are complaining there are not enough improved lots to choose from in Clovis and northeast Fresno.

POLL: 

RECENT CLOSINGS (September 2012): 

  • An investor purchased 36 finished lots in Madera (brokered by LAO)
  • A farmer purchased ±37 unimproved acres in Clovis (brokered by LAO)

NEW COMMUNITIES:

HOME SALES: According BoNhia Lee (@bonhialee), new home sales accounted for 5% of the Central Valley residential transactions this year compared to 26% in 2006.

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

Indian Summer Stokes North San Diego County Coastal Market Activity

With the mid-year 2012 turning of the corner in the housing market in San Diego County, demand for housing and residential land along the North County Coastal region has heated up quickly.  Among the 15 actively-selling developments featuring new single family detached housing, the rate of absorption is approaching an average of three sales per month per development.  Most of these developments offer lots averaging between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet with approximately a third of them featuring quarter-acre lots.  New home prices range from the high $500,000’s to $1,350,000, for unit sizes spanning from approximately 2,000 to 4,650 square feet.  Seller incentives are falling and are typically in the one to three percent range.  At the same time, new home prices have begun to rise and average approximately 1.2% higher per development than a year ago at this time. In early September 2012, there were approximately 90 remaining new single family detached homes available for sale along the north coast. This is equivalent to about two months of supply given the current pace of absorption among the actively-selling developments.

Consequently, this robust recovery in the new homes market has elevated subdivision land prices.  Land Advisors Organization has seen recent subdivision land sales in the North County Coastal regions capturing prices equivalent to finished lot values spanning from approximately $425,000 for 6,000 square foot lots, up to $620,000 for quarter acre lots.  Taking advantage of this market momentum Land Advisors Organization’s San Diego Team are currently marketing two outstanding coastal properties for sale: Quail Meadows – an approved tentative tract map for 33 quarter acre lots in Encinitas and Meadowlark Canyon another 33 lots averaging over 5,000 square feet each.  The Meadowlark Canyon site is located in San Marcos, near that cities’ border with neighboring Carlsbad.  Team San Diego will also soon be marketing an ocean close property in North Coastal San Diego in concert with Land Advisors Organization’s outstanding Orange County Team. Details regarding this trophy property will be released in early October 2012.

For more information, please contact Bob McFarland or David Landes at (858) 568-7428.

Source: Bob McFarland, Marketing Consultant, (858) 568-7428 ext. 12

Fresno & Madera Counties Heating Up

Good news, Madera is on the rebound.  Better news, you can still find improved finished lots below replacement cost….better hurry because prices are expected to increase!  FULL STORY

VACANT FINISHED LOT INVENTORY BY THE NUMBERS

CLOSINGS: August 2012 – Land Advisors closed seven vacant lots within Tract 5351 to a private homebuilder.  The private homebuilder bought the lots to expand its presence in the City of Clovis.

HOME SALES: Existing homes in Fresno are selling fast!  In June, Fresno resales reported a median of 43 days on market compared to a median of 90 days on market at the peak.  This represents a 52.2% decrease in days on market for Fresno.  FULL STORY

FEES: City development fees for Coalinga have been waived until April 2013.  Contact Matt Power at (805) 845-2660 or Mark Utman at (559) 549-6326 for further details.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS: The controversial high speed rail construction along Highway 99 has been delayed until 2014. FULL STORY

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

Summer Sizzle in The OC

The summer sun is here and hopefully it’s shining bright on Taylor Morrison’s GRAND OPENING of the Palisades – located in the Vista Del Verde master plan in Yorba Linda. Townhomes will range from 2,206-2,626 square feet and pricing starts in the high $500’s for 6 floor plans.  The opening event is planned for Saturday, June 30th!

Apartments here in Orange County remain HOT!  Rents are UP and more supply continues to come on the line and lease up quickly – even leasing up ahead of schedule, as is the case at The Irvine Company’s newest community, Cypress Village.

The City of Lake Forest approved Toll Brothers & Shea’s plans for Baker Ranch, a +2,300-unit development on +380 acres. The land is one of the City’s “Opportunities Study Areas,” enabling residential development now that the land use is no longer affected by the El Toro Marine Base flight path.

In the recent elections, the City of Yorba Linda passed both Measures H & I.  The Measures allow for increased development on a number of sites that will accommodate moderate, low and very low income households.

The Olson Company will be building 27 single-family homes and 61 townhomes  at the future Solano Walk in Fountain Valley adjacent to the Civic Center.

Source: Allison Rawlins, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 26, and Mike Hunter, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 37

Inland Empire… It’s FBO!

Economic news in Southern California’s Inland Empire appears to be looking up these days.  But is the homebuilding recovery here to stay?  Is it Facebook Official?

Last week, Land Advisors’ Senior Marketing Consultant Doug Jorritsma gave a presentation to a group of professionals regarding the state of the land/homebuilding market in the Inland Empire (Western San Bernardino & Riverside Counties).  On board with the wave of social media sweeping our communication style these days, Doug kept the message short, sweet, and direct, highlighting the market facts with a Facebook-like thumbs up or thumbs down.  Check ‘em out here…

DISLIKE

  • Unemployment/job generation still a big problem
  • State financial crisis looms large (Redevelopment Agencies and Schools)
  • Construction lending still challenging
  • Number of housing permits is currently 28% of what is was at the market’s peak

LIKE!

  • The worst is behind us!
  • Lenders dispositions are done! (Except for the little stuff.)
  • Most public and private homebuilders will be increasingly active going forward
  • Single and multi-family building permits are on the rise – (Currently DOUBLE 2009 numbers)
  • Institutional capital and private equity slowly giving THUMBS UP
  • No finished lot supply creates a near-term shortage
  • Land values are slowly trending up
  • Foreclosure activity is trending down
  • Five-month upward trend of improving new home sales
  • Big box industrial gets a double THUMBS UP
  • Interest rates are to remain low through 2014
  • Consumer confidence is improving which means retail sales are improving
  • Apartment vacancies currently at 4% – 6%, rents are up 1% – 5%

Land Advisors ♥’s Social Media

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

The Flipping Indicator – New Projects Vs. Flipped Homes

The previous Landed blog posted by Land Advisors’ Los Angeles Urban Infill Team highlighted the value increases placed on flipped homes throughout a variety of Los Angeles neighborhoods.  (Re-read: Flipping Over L.A.: Out With the Old, In With the New)

For this post, we take our analysis a step further and compare how values of flipped single family detached homes correlate with those of newly constructed small lot detached and townhome units.  Conveniently, two public homebuilders have opened up projects in Northeast Los Angeles within the past week:

  • The first is Pulte Home’s project in Eagle Rock called Mosaic.  The project consists of 18 Small Lot Detached Units.
  • The second is D.R. Horton’s project in Echo Park called 36 on Echo.  The project consists of 36 Townhome units.

The first chart below represents average sales prices for flips that occurred in Eagle Rock and Echo Park.

This second chart below illustrates the asking prices at both new projects.

In comparing the two charts, note that the average square feet of the flips in each neighborhood is between the smallest and largest unit size at each new project.  You can see that the average flip pricing on a price/sq. ft. basis in each neighborhood lands squarely within the expected price/sq. ft. revenues at each project.  On a nominal pricing basis, the project in Echo Park exceeds the average flip values in the neighborhood, while the project in Eagle Rock is in the same range as the flipped homes in the area.

Why is this significant?  In our experience, properly projecting revenues on infill projects is a difficult task and has chased away a fair share of possible builders and developers.  By utilizing the correct data and local market indicators, the Urban Infill Team has created a system that helps instill a sense of comfort on project pricing for planned infill developments.

Land Advisors’ Urban Infill Team was involved in the acquisition of both of the above referenced projects, and our projected pricing was very similar to the values illustrated above.  If you are interested in discussing valuation, acquisitions or dispositions in the Urban Los Angeles market please contact…

Source:  Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant, (626) 376-9840 ext. 14; Richard Byrd, Senior Marketing Consultant, (626) 376-9840 ext. 13; and Tim Barden, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 30

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

The Good Life is in the Santa Clarita Valley

The Santa Clarita Team is currently marketing Placerita Meadows, a 95-acre property located within the heart of Santa Clarita.  The subject site is zoned Mixed-Use Neighborhood (MXN), which allows for a variety of uses including residential, commercial and office.

The Placerita Meadows offering is a unique opportunity to control one of the last remaining residential/ mixed-use land developments within the City of Santa Clarita and the supply constrained Santa Clarita Valley.

As Land Advisors’ Santa Clarita Team discussed in prior blog posts, the Santa Clarita Valley is a highly desirable area for homeowners.  The Placerita Meadows site is well-positioned to offer its future residents all of the area’s regional benefits.  For example, Placerita Meadows is within walking distance to the Newhall Metrolink Station and several parks.  The property also offers the following:

  • Close proximity to several schools to include Old Orchard and Newhall Elementary Schools, Placerita Jr. High School and Hart High School
  • Within minutes of Interstate 5 (I-5), Highway 14 (SR-14) and Highway 126 (SR-126), residents of Placerita Meadows will enjoy convenient access to major employment centers, commercial, cultural, educational, and recreational areas throughout Southern California
  • Close proximity to shopping and entertainment at the Valencia Town Center, Stevenson Ranch Plaza and the Valencia Marketplace
  • Just minutes away from higher education facilities including: The Master’s College, College of the Canyons, Clarita Career College, and California Institute of the Arts

The Santa Clarita Valley (single family) lot inventory* is holding steady.  It currently stands at:  6,000 “Paper” Lots (unimproved lots that have entitlements), and 2,300 Semi-Finished Lots

*Source: Hanley Wood and Land Advisors Organization Research

 Source: Michel Faris, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 14

West Riverside Report

MULTI-FAMILY: Last week Land Advisors’ West Riverside Team wrapped up the marketing of a 16.5-acre mixed-use (multi-family for-rent and commercial) site known as The Village at Magnolia Square, located in the City of Riverside.

With a lack of comparable land sales early in 2012, the initial challenge in selling the multi-family for-rent land was determining the market value.  Assuming a successful escrow and close, The Village at Magnolia Square will mark the third successful multi-family for-rent land sale in the West Riverside submarket (Land Advisors Organization has been a party to all three sales). With three transactions soon under its belt, Land Advisors’ has established a real value foundation for similar land sale opportunities in the submarket.

SINGLE FAMILY: On the single family detached home front, the overall market in West Riverside remains stagnate.  However, homebuilders are finding success in some areas of South Riverside County such as Temecula.  Stronger than expected interest from homebuyers is causing some homebuilders to increase home prices. If strong absorption rates continue, the finished lot and future lot supply within Temecula will quickly vanish, and likely result in pressure on lot sales in Murrieta, Menifee and Wildomar. One development company has already noticed this trend and purchased one development site and has another in escrow in Wildomar.

APPROVALS:  On Tuesday March 13th, the City of Wildomar heard residents’ environmental concerns for a proposed 151-acre residential project. The project will be developed into 315 single family homes with 3.5 acres dedicated to a commercial center and open space. 

In addition, Menifee’s City Council approved a new General Plan land use map after a two year-long process, with a vote of 4 to 1. The land use plan is the first element in writing for the City’s new General Plan and serves as the basic blue print for how land will be used going forward.

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

Nothing Quiet on the Orange County Front

Although January and February are typically known as the “slower” months in the real estate world, homebuilding activity in Orange County is off to a roaring start in 2012!  See what’s making the news here locally:

  1. Trumark Homes and Brookfield Homes are proposing to revitalize a Lake Forest auto mall with 75 single family homes and 151 condos – the properties are located around Auto Centre Drive.
  2. Sales continue to move product within Shea Homes & Standard Pacific’s new Blackstone master plan in Brea. Also, Jamboree Housing recently opened its 94-unit affordable Bonterra apartments within the community.
  3. FivePoint Communities broke ground on the first phase of its Great Park Neighborhoods at the end of January.  Phase one totals approximately 726 units :: www.greatparkneighborhoods.com
  4. Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach is seeing renewed activity in the proposed mixed use developments at prime corners such as Beach and Ellis, and Beach and Warner :: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/project-283504-beach-review.html
  5. Be on the lookout for some new Land Advisors listings here in OC!

Source: Allison Rawlins, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x26

Central Valley Housing Market on the Mend?

Home sales are typically slow everywhere in December but some markets in the Central Valley showed signs of life at the end of 2011. According to Affiliated Appraisers, the median sale price for existing single family homes in the Bakersfield area was $132,000 in December 2011, up 9.6% over December 2010. The supply of active listings of homes for sale dropped 9.3%.  Foreclosures continue to significantly weigh on the market as bank-owned property accounted for roughly a third of the homes sold in 2011.

Investors for single family homes, who buy property to rent to tenants, are returning to the Central Valley, and made up roughly a third of home sales in 2011.  Some successful investors were able to “flip” property for a profit.  Affiliated Appraisers reported that 23 homes were “flipped” in the Bakersfield area since April 23 of 2011. 

Home prices have fallen a whopping 56% from the peak in June 2006 (current median home price is $131,500).  As long as banks do not flood the market with distressed product, home prices should remain somewhat stable in the coming months.

As a consequence to uncertainty in traditional financial investments like stocks and bonds, Central Valley investors have now turned to existing multi-family buildings. As banks continue to work through their single family detached REO inventory, this seems like a logical place to deploy capital. Occupancy rates are hovering around 90% for even for C and D level properties.  The Bakersfield area market had over 160 multi-family residential sales transactions in 2011.   However, it still makes little sense to develop new multi-family land at this point, as direct costs and fees are prohibitive.

Source: Jason Hepp, Senior Marketing Consultant, (661) 702-9080 ext. 14

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back on the Central Coast…

As the New Year begins, the California Central Coast is preparing for homebuilding activity in some areas, and inactivity in others.  The good news is that this sub-market will see two new home communities open this year. 

The first to open is Lagunitas, in the quaint beach side town of Carpinteria, one of south Santa Barbara County’s most desirable areas.  Lagunitas is located adjacent to the north side of Highway 101 and is within close proximity to the beach and shopping opportunities.  The master plan will offer three different product types, ranging from 1,360 to 2,421 sq. ft., aimed at appealing to a wide range of home buyers.  Private homebuilder MD2 Communities has already broken ground and is currently forming an interest list.

The second new home community opening in 2012 along the Central Coast is the first component of the Margarita Specific Plan in the City of San Luis Obispo.  MD2 Communities will bring 177 single family homes, an affordable housing site and 16 small-scale commercial opportunities to fruition.  The new homes are planned to range from approximately 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft., with the majority of the product types consisting of single story plans.  Model homes should be completed in the first quarter of 2012.

Other parts of the Central Coast are not seeing as much forward progress.  In September, Goleta’s City Council rejected a zoning change for the controversial Bishop Ranch housing project.  Bishop Ranch was initially proposed for 1,200 homes, 90,000 feet of commercial space and 67 acres of park land, but the developer withdrew the application at the last minute.  The second attempt with the City, which was unanimously rejected, was a request for the zoning designation to be changed from Agricultural to Mixed Use Urban.  Either way, it looks like the plans for Bishop Ranch are one step back for the moment.

Overall, the Central Coast in 2012 will provide superb opportunities for homebuilders, developers and investors to pick up strategic land positions in a traditionally supply-constrained market in anticipation of what is broadly expected to be a rising new home market in the next few years.

Source: Matt Power, Senior Marketing Consultant, (805) 845-2660

Homes Sales jump in Santa Clarita Valley

Sales of existing single family homes in the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) jumped a whopping 22.2% in October, while the overall California home sale market increased by only 3.1%. Existing home sales rose by 7.3% and condo sales rose by 28.8% from September to October in the SCV.

As parts of the SCV are nicknamed “Awesometown,” this suburban region just north of the Los Angeles Basin is a highly desirable place to live. With homes more affordable than ever and record low interest rates on home loans, the local SCV single family home market is performing better than the San Fernando Valley, where the median price of homes that sold last month was $350,000.  

Multi-family construction is up throughout L.A. County.  However, permits for single family housing still rule the Santa Clarita Valley. Single-family construction has historically been more consistent than multi-family projects.

Very few distressed/bank owned residential land assets are currently available for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley.

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