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

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KB Home Commands Market Share in Antelope Valley

Land Advisors’ Antelope Valley Team is working hard to identify every land opportunity for public and private builders and investors in the High Desert.  The best land deal opportunities are few these days, but the Team currently has three exclusive listings, two of which are now under contract with close dates quickly approaching.

Springtime in the A.V.: Photo of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

KB Home continues to dominate the Antelope Valley’s new home sales market.  The public homebuilder is leading the charge with eight actively selling projects in the region.  One or two private homebuilders are trying to break into the action, but are reporting slow sales according to Hanley Wood.

Investors are keeping their eyes open for the “right” land deal opportunities in the High Desert submarket.  Resales are holding steady and not many finished lot opportunities are available.

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

N. Central Valley Gears Up for Recovery

Land Advisors’ Northern California Team is proud to announce that it recently closed 507 single family lots in finished condition in the northern part of the City of Merced, a project known as Bellevue Ranch West.  The buyer is a long-time local farming family who plans to hold the asset as a long-term investment.

Although little building activity is occurring in Merced County at the moment, K. Hovnanian Homes is currently open and selling homes in one project.  The project, known as Eagles Ridge, is an active adult community in the Santa Nella market.

Despite the fact that Merced County new home closings are projected to hit a post-crash low volume in 2012 (off 98.9% from peak new home closing volume), year-to-date home prices are starting to rebound for regular re-sale and REO transactions with each up 2.47% and 1.96% respectively from their troughs. In addition, foreclosure sales (borrower-to-lender) are down 75.13% year-to-date from the 2008 peak.  REO (bank-to-new-buyer) sales are down 71.38% from their peak in 2009.  Our interpretation is this represents a positive sign that the overall Merced County housing market is healing – slowly but surely. (Source: Housing Intelligence Pro by Hanley Wood)

BIG LISTING: As part of a recent major lender-owned land listing for the California Division of the Land Advisors Organization, the Land Advisors Northern California Team covering the North Central Valley is actively looking for buyers for six assets in the bank’s portfolio.  Collectively, the listed assets include 479 single family homes in varying stages of development.  These asset sales represent the last few remaining bank-owned deals in the North Central Valley.  They should attract multiple investors and likely a few builders as the chance to buy lots well below replacement cost dwindle statewide.

Asset Breakdown:

  • Atwater:  Stonecreek – 129 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Winton:  Winfield Station – 22 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Modesto:  Thomas Terrace – 9 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Ceres:  Bing Cherry Estates – 39 Single Family Detached Lots in Finished Condition;
  • Merced:  Amberly Court – 162 Single Family Detached Lots in Rough Graded Condition (on 15.93 acres); and
  • Sage Creek – 118 Single Family Detached Lots in Rough Graded Condition (on 13.55 acres).

Other North Central Valley Updates:  San Joaquin County is experiencing improved new home sales in the towns of Mountain House, Manteca, and Lathrop.  New home projects are getting started in Stanislaus County, with two in Oakdale and one in Patterson.

Slow and steady as they are… all signs of building activity in the North Central Valley show that we are on our way to recovery!

Source: R.J. Radler Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 12; and Jim Radler Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 11

 

Around the Bend in the Bay Area

It feels as though we’ve turned a huge corner in the Bay Area real estate market.

Silicon Valley is producing jobs again at a solid pace (many are anticipating stock option millionaires boosting demand), and the commercial market is rebounding as office space has been absorbed and demand for new space is driving new construction.

Vacancy rates, rent increases and CAP rates for apartments are all at all time highs, spurring tons of new apartment development.

While all these data points are great signs for the recovery, they come with one potential downside—increased construction costs. While we haven’t seen it dramatically impact land values yet, a demand for labor and materials increases, construction costs appear to be headed up for the first time in many years. This could act as a bit of an inhibitor in any large run up in land prices.

Source: Steve Reilly, Marketing Consultant, (925) 791-2194

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