Flipping Over L.A.: Out With the Old, In With the New

On March 10th, the Los Angeles Times printed an article by Alejandro Lazo titled, “Investors Flip over Highland Park Homes.”  This article details how investors are purchasing physically and/or financially distressed homes in Highland Park at severely discounted values, and renovating both the interior and exteriors of the homes.  Once the homes are upgraded, the investors put them back onto the market, where they are quickly snatched up by young hipsters and urbanites, yielding great returns for the investors. 

While Lazo’s article does a good job of summarizing the L.A. flip story, his article only begins to illustrate the dramatic home flip activity in the denser, urban areas of Los Angeles. 

In the last 24 months, the Land Advisors Organization Urban Infill Team (Richard Byrd, Tim Barden and Chris Gomez-Ortigoza) has utilized a proprietary method to create a “Flip Analysis” in areas including Hollywood, Silver Lake, Mid-City, Echo Park, Eagle Rock and Pasadena.  In completing each Flip Analysis, the Team is able to draw conclusions and provide concrete information regarding the values that new home buyers place on turnkey homes in a specific neighborhood.  Providing the Flip Analysis creates a level of comfort for builders and developers assessing values, as it illustrates the tremendous demand each flip creates.  More importantly, it shows land buyers the range of values they can expect for a new development in neighborhoods that have little to no recently built, comparable projects. 

The chart below illustrates average values associated with a handful of “Flip Analyses” that we have run during 2011-2012.

The data above represents only averages associated with flips in each neighborhood.  The value increase for individual flips varies with the amount of work done on the home.  Homes with minimal improvements, such as new sod and paint may command a 10-20% increase in value.  Completely gutted and remodeled homes regularly command 50-100% increases in value and more than double in value in some instances. 

As a final snapshot of the Los Angeles infill market, a recent flip analysis illustrated that approximately 18% of flipped homes in Eagle Rock sold for 3% or more above their flipped asking price.  With multiple offers for each property, the turnkey home values are being bid up above asking prices and are creating higher values that positively affect the entire neighborhood.  In today’s market, this is a great sign of what is to come and shows the demand for both new and turnkey homes is alive and well in Los Angeles. 

If you are interested in hearing more about the L.A. Flip Analyses, please contact Land Advisors’ L.A. Urban Infill Team.

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

PFAR MLS was used to source all resale information.

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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

D.R. Horton snaps up 74 “Finished” Lots in Inland Empire

Land Advisors Organization – California Division is pleased to announce the closing of “Walnut III,” a ±20-acre residential subdivision located at the northeast corner of Cypress and Walnut, in the City of Fontana, County of San Bernardino.  YH Walnut, LLC sold the 74 single family lots to D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) for an undisclosed amount.

Land Advisors’ San Bernardino Team, which is based out of the firm’s Irvine office, represented the buyer and the seller in the transaction. 

Walnut III is located just south of the 210 Freeway, west of Sierra Avenue.  The lots are 7,200 minimum square feet, and were sold in fully improved condition with an approved final map.

“The Walnut III lots were the only finished lots available in Fontana,” remarked Land Advisors Senior Marketing Consultant, Winn Galloway. “The purchase will afford D.R. Horton the opportunity to commence vertical construction immediately and add coveted 2012 home deliveries to their business plan.” 

For more information about Land Advisors’ San Bernardino Team, contact Doug Jorritsma at (949) 852-8288 ext. 13/ djorritsma@landadvisors.com, and Winn Galloway (949) 852-8288 ext. 27/wgalloway@landadvisors.com.

Rebound in Sacramento …and We’re Not Talkin’ Hoops

The data says it all.  A look at the latest Ryness Report will tell you that new home sales are solid across the board in just about all actively selling communities in Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer Counties.

Pricing is still flat but absorption is clearly picking up.  Builder anxiety for the spring selling season seems to be subsiding and confidence in the market is growing.

More evidence to a turnaround is the fact that a very prominent publicly traded homebuilder who vacated the Sacramento Region a few years ago is back.  A new division president is once again at the helm and looking to grow the Sacramento Division, including the Central Valley and Reno.

See the data: Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for March 17, 2012

Sacramento foreclosures down 8.8% from a year ago: Foreclosure activity in Sacramento during February fell when compared with the same period a year ago but remained largely unchanged from January, according to figures released Thursday from RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure information company.  Full Story

Region home sales up by 16.6%, but prices are down: Homes sales in the four-county Sacramento region were higher by 16.6 percent on a year-over-year basis in February, according to data released Thursday by real estate information firm DataQuick.  Average prices were lower from a year ago, however, for all four counties.  Full Story

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

Bay Area Tertiary Markets Recovering? Maybe…

In the depths of the downturn (say, March 2008), the City of Antioch had over 800 active listings of single family homes on the market.  According to the MLS, only 105 homes sold that month, which translated into an 8-month supply of inventory.  Needless to say those were also the months where we saw double digit price declines year-over-year.

Fast forward to today: In the first two and a half months of 2012, 247 homes sold in Antioch, or approximately 98 sales per month.  The current active inventory according the Contra Costa MLS is 103, meaning a 1.1-month supply of inventory!  While this may not mean that prices are going to rocket up anytime soon in East Contra Costa County, it is definitely a great sign that the market has found a “natural” bottom and might have even overcorrected on the way down.

This same story is being repeated in Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg and other tertiary Bay Area markets, which were first to fall off the “cliff” a few years ago.

This work-off of resale inventory is starting to show its affect on new home absorptions.  In 2011 builders in East Contra Costa County were struggling to get to 1 to 2 sales per month on average. In the first few months of 2012, absorptions have been running between 3 and 4 sales per month. If this trend continues we expect more builders to begin venturing back out to the tertiary markets to look for new residential land deals.

Source: Steve Reilly, Senior Marketing Consultant, (925) 368-3128

High Desert Team Finds Buyer for Former Frontier Homes High Desert Portfolio

The Land Advisors’ High Desert Team recently closed a multi-million dollar sale on a five-subdivision portfolio in the High Desert. Collectively, the five land assets consist of 364 residential lots in varying stages of development. A private investor (represented by John Reeder of the Mimi Song Company) purchased the portfolio with the intent to hold for the long term. Land Advisors represented the portfolio’s seller (a lender), in the transaction. 

The details of the five portfolio assets include:

  • “Barcelona Heights II” is located within the City of Hesperia and consists of 91 single family lots with a minimum lot size of 5,801 square feet.  The lots were sold in “partially finished” condition with a recorded final tract map.
  • “Copper Crest” is located within the City of Hesperia and consists of 71 single family lots with a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet.  The lots were sold in “mostly finished” condition with a recorded final tract map.
  • “Autumn Glen IV & V” is located within the City of Victorville and consists of 66 single family lots with a minimum lot size of 7,000 square feet.  The lots were sold in “mostly finished” condition with a recorded final tract map.
  • “Falcon Point II” is located within the City of Lancaster and consists of 131 single family lots with a minimum lot size of 7,000 square feet.  The lots were sold in unimproved condition with an approved tentative tract map.
  • “Adelanto-5” is located within the City of Adelanto and consists of 5 single family lots with a minimum lot size of 7,000 square feet.  The lots were sold in “mostly finished” condition with a recorded final tract map.

“This was a challenging transaction due to the nature of five different subdivisions (and two counties) involved in the sale,” noted Land Advisors’ Senior Marketing Consultant Randy Coe, who has been selling residential land in the High Desert for about 10 years. “However, this was the largest remaining Bank REO finished lot opportunity in the submarket, and offered a significant value for the buyer of the portfolio,” he said.

In a separate transaction, the High Desert Team also recently led the closing of “Tuscany III” in Victorville.  The transaction consisted of 142 unimproved single family lots with an approved tentative tract map.  A private investor purchased the subject lots from Mojave & Onyx LLC for, with the intent of holding the project until the housing market returns.

Read the Complete Press Release Here

Coachella/Imperial Team Sells ±1,700 Residential Lots in El Centro

Land Advisors Organization – California Division is pleased to announce the closing of “Lerno Verhagen,” a ±516-acre planned community within the City of El Centro, County of Imperial.  The property was sold in its current condition as active farmland, with an approved specific plan for ±1,700 dwelling units.

Land Advisors’ Coachella/Imperial Team, which is based out of the firm’s Palm Desert office, represented the buyer (private investor) and the seller (lender) in the transaction. 

With several other sizable Imperial Valley transactions already under its belt, the Coachella/Imperial Team was able to drive value for the seller by leveraging its knowledge of the submarket and access its extensive yet focused network of key industry relationships.

“Given the prime location of this asset, this transaction was a tremendous ‘win/win’ for both buyer and seller,” stated Land Advisors Marketing Consultant, Stone James. “Imperial County is a terrific submarket for farmers and long-term land developers.”  He explained how the region is home to significant farming operations as well as several critical governmental organizations such as U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.), and the California Department of Corrections.

Read the Complete Press Release Here