Thank you from Land Advisors Organization California Division!

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California Division: 2012 Year in Review

LAO-CA Infographic 2012 YIR

Source: Tom Reimers, President, (949) 852-8288 x28

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

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

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

Winds of Opportunity Skipping over the Antelope Valley

Private investors are taking a cautious approach to buying land in the Antelope Valley.  Home sales are still slow and homebuilders are scarce. 

KB Home is still the most aggressive buyer of finished lot opportunities in Lancaster and Palmdale.  The public homebuilder has captured the Antelope Valley sub-market to the detriment of other public homebuilders. 

The Antelope Valley is the most affordable area of Los Angeles County, and KB Home is taking advantage of record low land values by scooping up several finished or semi-finished land deals.  The homebuilder has always believed in the profit potential of this sub-market and is now reaping the rewards of beating out the competition in land acquisition.

The Land Advisors High Desert Team (Michel Faris & Randy Coe) recently facilitated the closing of two transactions where KB Home purchased semi-finished residential lots in Lancaster.

The homebuilder completed its assemblage with the purchase of additional semi-finished lots within The Reserve for a total ownership of 37 lots.

KB Home also purchased 18 additional single family lots in semi-finished condition in the Sandstarr West community located on the southeast corner of Avenue K-8 and 27th Street West.

Other High Desert investors are waiting for home sales to pick up in the windy Antelope Valley, in addition to the emergence of more finished lot opportunities.  Until the sub-market begins to see signs of a broader economic rebound and improved home sales, performance is going to continue to blow right by.

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

It’s Always Sunny in Victor Valley

In the Victor Valley submarket, three residential land deals have closed escrow since August of this year.  Two of the deals were distressed, and all three were considered to be undervalued by their purchasers. 

  1. The first sale consisted of 276 single family lots in Victorville that sold to a private investor in late August.  The investor bought the land from a lender in “blue-topped” condition with a recorded final map. 
  2. The second project included 244 unimproved single family lots with an approved tentative tract map.  A private investor bought this Victorville project from a private homebuilder looking to generate cash and divest from some fringe markets.
  3. The third project closed escrow just this week.  A private investor purchased 36 single family lots, four model homes and seven standing inventory homes in Hesperia from a lender.  The buyer intends to finish the homes and sell them to homebuyers at retail prices.  It plans to hold the unfinished lots until the market recovers.

The larger story here is that the buyers of these properties are typical of the groups looking to buy land in the Victor Valley right now.  All are well-capitalized private investors looking for long term (4-10 years) investment opportunities.  These buyers are coming to the table with cash and are taking advantage of the extremely depressed land values in the region.  In many cases, active Victor Valley investors are utilizing overseas investors to get their deals done.

Land Advisors Organization, which has been tracking residential land values in the Victor Valley for about fifteen years, currently sees values at about $42,500 per single family lot in “finished” condition (7,200 sq. ft. lots).  At the market peak in 2006, these same lots were trading for about $130,000 per lot (a 67.3% drop from peak).

Despite the dismal news in land values, recent data shows that many Victor Valley residents are choosing to stay in the area.  In some areas, populations within the submarket are actually increasing.  People are moving into the area to take advantage of the affordable housing and increasing job growth opportunities.

Users of industrial facilities are also taking advantage of the low prices.  In September, United Furniture Industries (UFI) signed a lease for over 505,000 square feet of industrial space from Sterling Capital Investments in the Southern California Logistics Centre (SCLC).  When this new space is occupied, UFI plans to employ 400 local Victor Valley residents over the next 36 to 48 months.

Source: Randy Coe, CCIM, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x18