CLEAR! We have a pulse in the Coachella Valley!

The Coachella Valley, once known as the “last to arrive and the first to leave” any housing market ‘party,’ is alive and kicking again with significant investment and development from homebuilders and investors.

Toll Brothers, in its first acquisition since Stone Creek Ranch in 2005, recently purchased two partially built projects which are now going vertical! These projects are located in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.

Another public builder closed on some well-located lots in North Palm Desert.

Two private builders, Far West Industries and Alta Verde Group, are joining the ranks of top builders within the Coachella Valley.  The folks at Far West have started construction on Luminaire in Palm Springs and have also picked up other well located assets recently.  Beverly Hills-based Alta Verde Group is in the process of going vertical on lots within Escena in Palm Springs in addition to a partially built project in La Quinta.

Local Coachella Valley builders are also showing their resilience and dedication… Family Development is working through sales at the beautiful Villa Portofino active adult project in Palm Desert.

Investors who acknowledge the Coachella Valley as one of the top retirement destinations nationally are taking advantage of low land prices, and are scooping up some terrific residential land opportunities.

Quick demographic fact: The Coachella Valley is one of the fastest-growing areas in the U.S. due in part to its location in Riverside County, and also to real estate booms in the 1970s to 1990s. State projections estimate that the Coachella Valley’s population will pass 700,000 by the year 2020, and one million by 2035. Demographers believe the total population already surpassed the 500,000 mark.  This number does not include the additional 100,000 temporary seasonal residents known as “snowbirds” who arrive to stay during the winter months (from the end of October to the end of April).  Source: Riverside County Projects 2006 and Land Advisors Research

Source: Stone James, Marketing Consultant, (760) 219-7227

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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

San Diego County Land Prices Pushing UPWARD

Residential land prices in San Diego County are trending up!  Check out the San Diego Business Journal article this week, where Land Advisors’ Senior Marketing Consultant, David Landes, discusses the County’s residential (single family & multi-family) land trends. READ HERE: San Diego Business Journal Article

Public and private homebuilders and developers are showing strong interest in big residential projects throughout San Diego County.  Land Advisors is receiving a large number of inquiries from around the U.S. and abroad for the Lakes above Rancho Santa Fe, a 248-lot project in the Santa Fe Valley.

Heard on the Street: Davidson Communities, who has been building homes in the Carmel Valley corridor for nearly 30 years, is rumored to be under contract to sell a portion of its Fairbanks Country Villa project.

The San Diego South Bay market (Chula Vista) is starting to heat up.  Builders and developers are working on future residential projects in anticipation of an economic turn.

New home projects in Coastal San Diego are doing well.  City Ventures and K. Hovnanian have recently started building communities.  Look for sales flags in Leucadia and Carlsbad.

Multi-family product remains hot.  Watch for a few cities to start considering re-zoning land from industrial and commercial use to residential use.

Redevelopment funds: Builders and developers need to continue to pressure their politicians to fight for redevelopment funds which are threatened by Sacramento. This will have a big effect on future downtown San Diego development and potential relocation of the San Diego Chargers NFL team.

Source: David Landes, Senior Marketing Consultant, (858) 568-7428

Big Waves in the Central Coast

Just south of San Luis Obispo, along Central California’s picturesque coastline, lies the area known as the “Five Cities,” which includes the Cities of Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Oceano and Shell Beach. Wedged between the beach and Highway 101, this area is one of the most desirable and highly sought after among Central Coast homeowners. However, it is also extremely supply constrained in terms of residential land and new home inventory. Even though the Five Cities area does currently have a good amount of commercially zoned land, residential land opportunities have been harder to come by.

Five Cities Residential Lot Inventory (as of 2nd Quarter, 2011)*:

  • Vacant Developed Lots (Detached Product) = 200
  • Vacant Developed Lots (Attached Product) = 15
  • Future Lot Supply (Detached Product) = 406
  • Future Lot Supply (Attached Product) = 246

*Source: Metrostudy (Q2 ’11) and Land Advisors Organization Research

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

Rockin’ Out in the OC

  • The City of Irvine approved 5,000 homes at FivePoint Communities’ Great Park Neighborhoods (See OC Register graphic :: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/park-316992-fivepoint-great.html?graphics)
  • A buyer was selected for Pacific City in Huntington Beach; the note sale is rumored to have transacted at north of $55M
  • It’s the end of a water park era: Wild Rivers shuts down this coming Sunday, September 25th to make way for yet another Irvine Company apartment project called Los Olivos, which will bring 1,750 additional units to the Irvine Spectrum area.  Not to worry, though, the Verizon Amphitheater will still be rockin’ until 2017.  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/irvine-318601-noise-units.html

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

Lakers Game Anyone?

With all the negativity shared around the real estate industry these days, the California Division’s “Team SB” (known for its cheerful demeanor and rosy disposition) is pouring optimism from the half-full glass in this week’s Landed blog post:

  1. Despite volatile market conditions, single family lots are still trading to public and private builders in well-located sub-markets along the I-15 Corridor. Several properties zoned for residential use are currently in escrow in Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga and Eastvale/Dairylands.
  2. New homes sales are slow throughout San Bernardino County, however, a few communities are selling quite well. For example, Beazer Homes’ (BZH), The Enclave at Crafton Hills, located in Yucaipa, has sold 9 homes in the last two months. Land Advisors originally sold the Crafton Hills lots in “finished” condition to Beazer in late 2010.
  3. Beaumont has been one of Richmond American Homes (MDC), strongest selling sub-markets this year. The public builder’s two actively selling communities are Kensington at Tournament Hills (from low $200s) and Woodhaven (from the upper $100s).
  4. If there is in fact an NBA season (please God!), don’t miss the Lakers game at Citizens Business Bank Arena (next to Team SB’s multi-family listing: Piemonte at Ontario Center) on October 12th.

Team SB covers residential land activity in San Bernardino and Northwest Riverside Counties. For more information on this sub-market (or more cheery market insight), please contact Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x13 and Winn Galloway, Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288 x27.

Urban Infill: War and Peace in the LA Basin

The Land Advisors Urban Infill team is currently working with several developers who have recently submitted tentative tract maps, are revising existing tract maps, or intend to submit new tract maps for for-sale housing developments.  The Team is seeing the highest concentration of activity in Northeast Los Angeles (Echo Park, Silver Lake, Eagle Rock, and Glassell Park).

The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety’s September newsletter revealed that the City’s number of housing starts year-to-date is still low (-31% YOY).  However, plan check revenue is up (41% YOY), indicating an upswing of future housing supply.  Newsletter Sept 2011

Ideally located new home communities selling well-designed homes are showing strong sales numbers. In the third quarter, the Urban Infill Team led the closing eight single family attached lots at Lennar’s Playa Vista. In response to the growing demand for additional product in Playa Vista, Lennar closed the 2nd and 3rd lot take downs four months early. 

Los Angeles Land Use Update:  The Planning Department’s Code Studies Section unveiled late last week a draft ordinance that would allow the creation of site-specific development rules that could loosen-up laws on density, setbacks and open space requirements. The new process, called Planning Unit Development, is part of the Department’s 3-year-old effort to streamline the Municipal Code while also encouraging more public participation. Some might say those goals are as congruent as war and peace. http://www.landusela.net/2011/09/planning-dept-unveils-latest.html

Source: Tim Barden, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x30, and Richard Byrd, Senior Marketing Consultant (626) 376-9840 x13, and Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant, (626) 376-9840 x14