Back in the Game: O’Donnell Returns to Land Brokerage at LAO

Land Advisors Organization is very proud to announce the hiring of legendary real estate veteran Mackey (“Mac”) O’Donnell. Mr. O’Donnell brings to Land Advisors his extensive development industry experience throughout the private and public sectors, in addition to his remarkable residential land transaction resume.

In his new role as Senior Marketing Consultant at the California Division of Land Advisors, Mr. O’Donnell joins the Riverside County Team, working in partnership with R. Jeffrey Spindler and F. Brian Carricaburu, both of whom also have extensive experience selling residential land throughout the State of California.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Mac on board at Land Advisors,” commented Mr. Spindler. “He brings to our firm superior insight, integrity and deal experience. With the addition of Mac to our group of talented advisors, the California Division of Land Advisors is poised to offer our clients the very highest level of expertise and knowledge in the industry.”

Known by most in the land development/homebuilding arena for his role as co-founder and president of land brokerage firm O’Donnell/Atkins, Mr. O’Donnell has a lengthy resume that proves his remarkable leadership and innovative ability to find the most valuable land opportunities. At the firm’s peak in 2005, O’Donnell/Atkins had grown to six offices and forty brokers statewide, with $1.6 billion in annual land transactions.

“It’s great to be back in the game,” remarked an enthusiastic Mr. O’Donnell. “Land brokerage is a passion for me, and Land Advisors is a dynamic group of professionals that offers exceptional quality service to its clients all over the U.S. I am excited to join the team, and I’m confident that Land Advisors Organization provides the best platform in the industry to assist clients in making complex land decisions.”

Read the Complete Press Release Here 

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Fresno, Spring in its Step?

This winter, Fresno homebuyer traffic is the best we’ve seen in 2+ years! Could it be due to Fresno’s declining unemployment rate?  Or, perhaps it’s the dry warm weather this season?  Either way, homebuilders active in the Fresno marketplace right now are welcoming the new interest from homebuyers with open arms as the spring selling season begins full bloom.

Median new home base prices are hovering around $110 per square foot, which is $60 per square less than peak values in 2006.

News You Can Use from the Fresno/Clovis Submarket…

Valley Builders Optimistic In Spite Of Housing Market: Despite a sea of foreclosures and bargain-priced houses for sale across the central San Joaquin Valley, homebuilders are still finding a reason to raise the walls and roofs on new homes… MORE

More on the Activity in Fresno’s New Home Market:  New home construction seems to be on an upswing in neighborhoods across the Valley. And builders are optimistic that the market is starting to turn. (This week’s) story in The Bee tells you what some Fresno homebuilders have done to get through the downturn and who is buying new, but it doesn’t cover everyone.

Here’s a look at what other builders in town have done to attract buyers along with more from homebuyers that we couldn’t squeeze into the final story… READ ON

Clovis City Council Oks Map Laying Out City’s Future:  A plan that lays out the future neighborhoods of Clovis was approved Monday (2/13) night by the City Council, despite fears from some rural residents that it won’t adequately protect their land from urban intrusion. …Rural residents who live on large lots east of the city say a proposed open-space buffer of 100 feet is not wide enough to shield their homes from the housing tracts of smaller-lot homes that would be allowed under the new general plan… READ ON or, WATCH VIDEO via KFSN.

California’s High-Speed Rail Project Continues despite Criticism: California’s high-speed rail project is already projected to take longer and be more costly than originally projected, but the obstacles facing it are not yet over. Governor Jerry Brown is trying to push the project through the Legislature this year, though… MORE

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

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

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

Santa Maria… Where are the builders?

A few weeks ago, the City of Santa Maria, Community Development Department (CDD) released its list of residential projects in the development process with the number of building permits issued by the City from July 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.

As you can see from the chart below, the Santa Maria CDD shows there are 669 future single family dwelling units and 633 multifamily condominium units that are either approved or pending approval, for future development.

One new home community by the Towbes Group is actively selling new single family homes with floor plans ranging in size from 1,208 to 2,043 square feet. “Lavigna” is a well-amenitized gated community with a pool and recreational area.  

To date, Lavigna is the only new home product currently available within the City of Santa Maria.  But even with Lavigna, the ample lot inventory indicates that Santa Maria still has room for another builder. 

This leaves us scratching our heads…. When are all these units going to be built? And who is going to build them? 

Other News from the Central Coast

Via TheBusinessJournal.com: Visalia-based Mangano Homes, Inc. is developing the mixed-use Marsh Street Commons project in the heart of San Luis Obispo. Though the recession took a toll on the San Luis Obispo market as it did in the Valley, the Central Coast town has shown a certain tenacity in the past. Read complete article.

Via RENTV.com: The Village at Broad Street Family Apartments, a new 42-unit affordable housing project in San Luis Obispo, just celebrated its grand opening to the public. Developed by ROEM Corporation, the project is located at 2240 Emily St. Read complete article

The Village at Broad Street also recently held its grand opening for the new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market which turned out to be a huge success.

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

Lots of Lumber in the Air in Coastal North San Diego Co.

With Super Bowl Sunday behind us, several homebuilders are kicking off new projects in anticipation of a strong spring selling season.  A quick drive around the North San Diego County submarket provides some optimism on the strength of the local building community….

  • In Carlsbad, Shea Homes is grading along Poinsettia Lane and Cassia Road, and Taylor Morrison is grading along Black Rail Road for new projects. Models should be under construction in the next few months.  Also on Black Rail, Warmington Homes is finishing a new phase of their Poinsettia Ridge project which should be available for move-in soon.
  • The Tides at Carlsbad, a 27-lot project along the freeway at Poinsettia Lane by K. Hovnanian is in full swing and selling.
  • The La Costa Condominiums, a large project being framed along La Costa Blvd., just east of El Camino Real is being developed by a local investment group to be held as rental condominiums.  Completion is expected by the end of the year.
  • Further south, The Bungalows project by Fieldstone Communities stands out.  From the freeway, you can see the unique red treated lumber being used for the framing.
  • Davidson Communities has two projects gearing up for release.  Arista at the Crosby is underway with models available to preview in the next few weeks, and Miraval at Torrey Highlands has also started moving dirt with an onsite sales trailer already open for previews.
  • Pulte Homes is also under construction in Torrey Highlands with their Latitude project.  Models should be open soon.

After a prolonged lull in new home construction, seeing so many new housing project starts in the market is very encouraging. Land prices are now stabilized in North San Diego County, and Land Advisors sees great values in the market for both finished lots and future entitlement deals.  Please check out our current listings for La Costa and The Lakes Above Rancho Santa Fe.

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

No Splash in the Antelope Valley

The cool winter winds continue to blow through the Antelope Valley residential land submarket as January moves into February.  Homebuilders and investors alike are taking a cautious approach towards the land buying pool and are hesitant to jump in.

Finished lot inventory (which includes both finished and partially finished lots) currently stands at approximately 2,500 units in the Antelope Valley.  Palmdale holds approximately 1,600 of the lots and Lancaster has the remaining 900.  95% of these finished lots are controlled by private investors who are looking at two to three year holds on their land investments.  These investors are waiting for home prices to increase and for homebuilders to return to this submarket before they make their next move.

The Land Advisors “High Desert Team” continues to keep the pulse of deals in the Antelope Valley with two current listings and one escrow.

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