Sacramento is booming…

As far as residential land goes.

These past few months have been eye opening on the residential land front.  Just when folks were beginning to write the rest of 2012 off as another down and out year like 2011, someone “poked the bear” and got things moving again.  The past few months in Sacramento have been on fire with the builders knocking down the door trying to grab land positions in core markets.  With the finished lot inventories drying up, everything from paper to finished lots have been targets for both public and private builders.  It is reminiscent of the bump we saw in 2009 and 2010, but with the pipeline of finished lots dwindling, REO product drying up and interest rates in the cellar, this party may be just getting started.

Link:

http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/print-edition/2012/10/05/home-price-spurt-correction-new-bubble.html

Source: Ryan Long, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 16

WANTED: FRESNO LAND DEVELOPERS

According to Fresno real estate blogger, BoNhai Lee, the City of Fresno says ±16,000 acres of land remain for housing development.  With that being said, Fresno is in need of land developers to entitle and process new tentative tract maps.

Land Advisors Organization’s Fresno office is happy to announce the San Joaquin Valley is (finally!) coming alive in “A” locations.  Builders are complaining there are not enough improved lots to choose from in Clovis and northeast Fresno.

POLL: 

RECENT CLOSINGS (September 2012): 

  • An investor purchased 36 finished lots in Madera (brokered by LAO)
  • A farmer purchased ±37 unimproved acres in Clovis (brokered by LAO)

NEW COMMUNITIES:

HOME SALES: According BoNhia Lee (@bonhialee), new home sales accounted for 5% of the Central Valley residential transactions this year compared to 26% in 2006.

Source: Mark Utman, Marketing Consultant, (559) 549-6326

Indian Summer Stokes North San Diego County Coastal Market Activity

With the mid-year 2012 turning of the corner in the housing market in San Diego County, demand for housing and residential land along the North County Coastal region has heated up quickly.  Among the 15 actively-selling developments featuring new single family detached housing, the rate of absorption is approaching an average of three sales per month per development.  Most of these developments offer lots averaging between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet with approximately a third of them featuring quarter-acre lots.  New home prices range from the high $500,000’s to $1,350,000, for unit sizes spanning from approximately 2,000 to 4,650 square feet.  Seller incentives are falling and are typically in the one to three percent range.  At the same time, new home prices have begun to rise and average approximately 1.2% higher per development than a year ago at this time. In early September 2012, there were approximately 90 remaining new single family detached homes available for sale along the north coast. This is equivalent to about two months of supply given the current pace of absorption among the actively-selling developments.

Consequently, this robust recovery in the new homes market has elevated subdivision land prices.  Land Advisors Organization has seen recent subdivision land sales in the North County Coastal regions capturing prices equivalent to finished lot values spanning from approximately $425,000 for 6,000 square foot lots, up to $620,000 for quarter acre lots.  Taking advantage of this market momentum Land Advisors Organization’s San Diego Team are currently marketing two outstanding coastal properties for sale: Quail Meadows – an approved tentative tract map for 33 quarter acre lots in Encinitas and Meadowlark Canyon another 33 lots averaging over 5,000 square feet each.  The Meadowlark Canyon site is located in San Marcos, near that cities’ border with neighboring Carlsbad.  Team San Diego will also soon be marketing an ocean close property in North Coastal San Diego in concert with Land Advisors Organization’s outstanding Orange County Team. Details regarding this trophy property will be released in early October 2012.

For more information, please contact Bob McFarland or David Landes at (858) 568-7428.

Source: Bob McFarland, Marketing Consultant, (858) 568-7428 ext. 12

Warm Weather and Hot Rents in LA

As we begin to approach the fall, you can bet the weather will cool down but the apartment market will continue its hot streak. The Los Angeles Infill Team has been paying close attention to apartment rental trends and has seen favorable signs for continued rent growth.

Apartment rental rates in Los Angeles continued on their strong path of growth as seen in year-over-year data in the second quarter 2012. Average rents for all types of rental units increased 5.3%. The biggest surprise may be the average YOY growth seen in both two and three bedroom townhome units. Rents in two bedroom townhome units increased an average of 13.8%, while rents in three bedroom townhome units increased 17.2%. Townhome and three bedroom units have seen a large boost in pricing as many families displaced by foreclosure try to find units large enough to accommodate them. Several buyers, including investors and developers, are paying close attention to these statistics and are pushing to purchase properties with the ability to build and rent townhomes then convert them to condominiums as the for-sale market improves. Average occupancy rates have continued to tick upwards and touched 95.5% in Q2 2012 for metro Los Angeles.

These are strong signs keeping the search for apartment land deals atop the list of many builders and developers. The Los Angeles Infill Team at Land Advisors recently transacted on a rental townhome project and has a handful of other apartment deals under contract. Our team is well versed in the local rental market and eager to discuss available and active apartment projects.

For further questions and information, please contact Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Tim Barden or Richard Byrd at (626) 376-9840.

The following news articles highlight the strength of the rental market in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Rents-on-the-Rise-Across-Southern-California-147394535.html

http://www.zoliath.com/commercial-real-estate-blog/2012/09/12/los-angeles-apartment-market-set-for-significant-growth/

Source: Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant

Sacramento… Healing Period?

Over the last 6 months, the Sacramento region has posted solid housing numbers to give the new home builders optimism for the future of this area.  Stuck in the mud for the last 2-3 years, the region looks like it is pulling itself off the bottom and headed in a better direction.  Although REO sales are still plentiful compared to 2005, the trends are positive.

The region should see approximately 15,000 REO sales this year, but that is 15% less than 2011 and 30% of peak 2008 numbers (22,131).  New home sales for the region are expected to almost double what they were for 2011, climbing up well over 3,000 new home sales for 2012.  It also important to note that currently in the region, new home sales account for approximately 3.4% of total home sales and that at the peak of the market, new home sales accounted for approximately 26.3% of the overall home sale market.

With this further evidence of a bottoming of the housing market and plenty of room to mature, builders have anticipated the next boom and they are back buying again. Approximately a half dozen deals have been purchased over the last few months with more builder deals currently in escrow.

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

The Bay Area housing market is back on fire… but is it sustainable???

What can we attribute the turnaround in the market too? In simple terms, it’s back to the old supply/demand curve. In the depths of the housing market depression (think back to 2009), many cities were running resale inventories of several hundred homes and typically at least 50% of those homes were in some sort of distressed condition (bank owned, short sale, etc.).

Now, when we look at the market it’s done a complete 180. Inventory levels are down to their lowest levels since the peak of the housing market back in 2005-2006 and the percentage of distressed sales is down significantly from a few years ago. The question everyone should be asking is whether this is sustainable or is the “shadow inventory” of distressed homes about to flood the market and put a damper on things.

In our opinion, given how low the inventory levels are and the strength of most markets, even a doubling in the number of distressed homes on the market will probably not have much of an adverse effect on the market and in some circumstances might actually be helpful. FULL STORY

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

Take a quick look at the inventory and sales levels of many of the East Bay Cities and decide for yourself if we’re in the beginning stages of a long term bull market in housing.

Active Listings Distressed Listings Percent Distressed Avg Monthly Sales Rate Months of Supply Based on 2012   Closed Sales
Antioch 101 55 54% 123 0.82
Brentwood 71 24 34% 82 0.87
Castro Valley 71 12 17% 41 1.72
Concord 73 34 47% 99 0.74
Disco Bay 43 8 19% 24 1.76
Dublin 22 9 41% 27 0.81
Fremont 133 10 8% 122 1.09
Hayward 82 30 37% 97 0.85
Livermore 85 16 19% 82 1.04
Oakley 39 17 44% 46 0.85
Pittsburg 34 19 56% 56 0.61
Pleasanton 67 6 9% 57 1.17
San Leandro 50 12 24% 72 0.69
San Ramon 49 12 24% 61 0.81
Union City 30 13 43% 36 0.83
Walnut Creek 57 2 4% 47 1.23

California Dreamin’

Seems like the herd is gathering steam again in the Sacramento region and in the greater California market.  That herd I am talking about are the homebuilders.  It’s funny when a couple of builder deals get completed, it draws in the rest of the pack like a magnet and we are starting to see that in and around Sacramento.  DR Horton just closed on a deal in Folsom, Standard Pacific picked up about 100 lots in Rocklin and now the rest of the builders are combing the market looking for that next deal.  This is great news not only for the industry, but for developers and land owners.  If the new home construction numbers continue like they are in the Sacramento region, finished lots in core markets will be long gone by next year. FULL STORY

Source: Ryan Long, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 16

Fresno & Madera Counties Heating Up

Good news, Madera is on the rebound.  Better news, you can still find improved finished lots below replacement cost….better hurry because prices are expected to increase!  FULL STORY

VACANT FINISHED LOT INVENTORY BY THE NUMBERS

CLOSINGS: August 2012 – Land Advisors closed seven vacant lots within Tract 5351 to a private homebuilder.  The private homebuilder bought the lots to expand its presence in the City of Clovis.

HOME SALES: Existing homes in Fresno are selling fast!  In June, Fresno resales reported a median of 43 days on market compared to a median of 90 days on market at the peak.  This represents a 52.2% decrease in days on market for Fresno.  FULL STORY

FEES: City development fees for Coalinga have been waived until April 2013.  Contact Matt Power at (805) 845-2660 or Mark Utman at (559) 549-6326 for further details.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS: The controversial high speed rail construction along Highway 99 has been delayed until 2014. FULL STORY

Source: Mark Utman, Marketing Consultant, (559) 549-6326

New 360 Acre Development Coming to Monterey County

City of Del Rey Oaks and Brandenburg Properties are preparing to team up to develop 360 acres of undeveloped Fort Ord land.  The City would like to see a low-density residential development and a hotel with condominium units and they would like to see “green, sustainable” development, including the use of cisterns to help with water supplies.  The Del Rey Oaks land is generally located north of South Boundary Road and east of General Jim Moore Boulevard.  Part of the project lies next to Fort Ord acreage the city of Monterey has planned for eventual development. FULL STORY

New Monterey County listing hits LAO

The Central Coast Team of the Land Advisors Organization is pleased to present Parcels D & E featuring 13.51 multi-family acres for ±378 apartment units.  The subject sites are located in Monterey County along scenic U.S. Highway 101, within the northerly reach of California’s Central Coast and in the heart of the famed Salinas Valley. Soledad is known for its natural beauty, moderate climate, and abundant agricultural products. Soledad is now home to more than 17,000 residents with a mix of early 20th century architecture with a charming historic downtown commercial district and vibrant new residential neighborhoods.

Contact: Matt Power at (805) 845-2660 or Jim Radler at (916) 784-3329 for more information on Parcels D & E.

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

San Diego: How Banks Helped the Housing Market Get Back On Its Feet

“Shadow Inventory” was a dirty word for most of the past recession with respect to the housing market.  In general terms, it meant there was a large number of homes in foreclosure or soon to be foreclosed upon, which would flood the market and drive down home prices, and keep the housing market on its heels for years to come.  While no one will argue that the sheer volume of foreclosures nationwide and in Southern California is substantial, the threat of flooding the market has not materialized. 

 In San Diego County, as in most areas of Southern California, the Banks were smart and only released foreclosures to the marketplace in measured increments, so as to attract interest in inventory at reduced prices without flooding the market.  San Diego County foreclosures have recently been reported to be down 51% in comparison to a year ago.  As a result, investment groups interested in purchasing large quantities of lower priced foreclosure properties for the strong rental market have helped generate an overall market craving in San Diego County for relatively low-priced housing (generally posture below approximately $500,000).  Brokers active within marketplaces sporting significant volumes of housing priced below $500,000 report multiple offers for any available inventory, often driving up prices.  The average price of new and existing housing sold last month in San Diego County ($335,500), accounted for a 1.7% increase over the average price of homes sold in June of 2011.  The total sales volume in the resale market county-wide for single family detached homes through the first half of 2011 represents almost a 10% increase over the first six months of last year.

 

The market recovery for low-priced housing, coupled with long-standing reduced interest rates, is very slowly beginning to work itself up the price ladder of housing throughout San Diego County.   For example, in higher priced submarkets such as the North County Coastal Area, rates of absorption for new home developments have grown from an average of one sale per month per project last year, to approximately two sales per month in 2012. 

 Although generation of new jobs in San Diego County is headed in the right direction, the slow pace of employment growth has been the major force preventing a rapid recovery in the housing market.  With the potential cut back in government defense spending in San Diego County next year, the pace of job growth is not expected to pick up in the very near term.  However, continued low levels of housing inventory (the number of homes listed for sale at the end of the 1st Quarter of 2012 fell to its lowest level in nearly three years), government maintenance of low interest rates, and continued growth in demand for rental housing is expected to continue to fuel the housing market recovery, but at a continued gradual rate of growth.  Most economic forecasters are predicting housing appreciation in San Diego County in the near term to range between approximately 2% and 3% annually.  The moderate pace of market recovery may be a blessing in disguise; as a more gradual velocity in recovery will give the market its legs for more sustained growth; in contrast to the rapid inflation run-ups of past market cycles which eventually lead to faster boom to bust corrections. 

 Down the road, this bona fide housing recovery at the bottom of the “food chain” so to speak, will likely be looked upon as the flash point which signaled the beginning of the market recovery in the housing market in San Diego County.

 Source: Bob McFarland, Marketing Consultant, (858) 568-7428 ext. 12

Asian Capital Infusion – San Gabriel Valley and Beyond

In recent months, the new home market in Los Angeles has begun to show signs of improvement with increases in absorption rates, higher pricing and improved buyer traffic. These signs are welcome in an unsteady time and can be strongly attributed to the strength of Asian home buyers. You may be wondering, what is special about Asian home buyers?

Cash and lots of it! Whether speaking with sales agents and home builders in Pasadena, Azusa and other cities, it is astonishing to hear the strength of the deals that are being done by Asian buyers and investors. In a survey of actively selling and recently sold out communities, sales agents expressed as many as 1 out of 3 sales to Asian buyers have closed with 50-100% cash down payments. An even larger proportion of sales to Asian buyers have been well in excess of twenty percent cash down payments to purchase homes. As witnessed by Land Advisors Organization, the Asian buyer pool has even begun branching into new home communities in markets that have been traditionally dominated by other ethnic groups including, Northeast Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

With such a strong influence on the new home market, builders that design communities to meet the needs and desires of the Asian demographic have seen above market pricing, brisk absorption and incredible buyer satisfaction.

In addition, Asian investors have been a strong source of capital infusion via the EB-5 financing program. The program allows Overseas investors receive a green card and get on a fast track to US citizenship upon investing $500,000 into a venture that creates jobs. Each $500,000 investment qualifies for one green card if it creates ten Jobs. Hospitals, Assisted living and Hotels are popular investment due to the high number of jobs created, but residential developments are also being regularly financed through the EB-5 program as well.

The following articles both highlight the strength and demand occurring in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding parts of Los Angeles from Asian home buyers and investors.

http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2011/04/25/asian-wealth-adds-up-to-u-s-home-sale-boom/

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-04-03/us-homes-lure-chinese-buyers/53977638/1

Within the past three months, the Los Angeles Infill Team at Land Advisors has marketed three deals in the San Gabriel Valley and continues to see a strong desire for builders and developers to acquire new communities in this area.

For information regarding available deals and market data, please contact Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Tim Barden or Richard Byrd at (626) 376-9840.

Source: Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant

Let’s Make a Deal in the Bay Area – Door #1 or Door #2?

While the land market in the Bay Area has continued to improve and in many primary in-fill areas the market is back within 20% of peak values, the secondary and tertiary markets are still bouncing along the bottom with land values that are typically only 20% of peak values. This seems to be an unsustainable condition. Back in 2003 or 2004 when land prices in the Bay Area were approximately where they are today, land in outlying markets (think the cities of Brentwood and Gilroy, for example) was consistently trading for 2 to 4 times what it is trading for today.

So it seems that the market is at an inflection point, either the 2,000+ units per year that all the public and large private homebuilders combined in Northern California need to produce to cover their fixed costs are going to come in the form of 50 lot and smaller infill developments (Door #1), or the outlying Bay Area land markets are set for a major rebound. Maybe it’s time to see consider what kind of deals you can find behind Door #2.

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

Play Ball in Western Riverside County!

You win some…

The second quarter of 2012 is in the books in West Riverside County and public home builder sentiment is high nationally and locally. Our hopes are that the positive sales pace continues through the second half of the year which should lead to the first inning in what we hope is a long overdue, extra-inning recovery. In addition to that, according to Hanley Wood data for the second quarter, 10 of 13 active new home markets in West Riverside County experienced an increase in new home sale pricing. That’s the good news.

You lose some…

The bad news is that 2012 has yielded few land transactions to discuss because land bank REO properties have been purged from the market (currently LAO has listed one of the few remaining portfolios of bank REO assets, contact if interested) and land values are generally not yet at a level where the 2008-2010 investors would sell. If the market continues to improve however, 2013 should see a number of sales from the investor community to home builders.

Source: Mitch Casillas, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 23

Sacramento: Where’s the Dirt?

The Sacramento region finally appears to be emerging from the homebuilding doldrums.  Over the last several months, homebuilders seem to have a new found confidence as new home absorption levels have begun to tick up to levels not seen for several years.

Pricing on the other hand, is still lagging with maybe a small bump in appreciation.  All of this said, ready-to-build lots are becoming scarce within the Sacramento submarket, and at this rate, some areas could possibly end 2013 with a lot supply of zero.

The key drivers to getting builders back to Sacramento will be continued increased scarcity of deals in the San Francisco Bay Area, in addition to sustained new homes sales that we have seen in the area over the last several months.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the recent rise in homebuilding could be thwarted by an unlikely factor, a shortage of land in desirable locations.  Homebuilders are realizing they cannot focus strictly on the Bay Area locales just due to the fact that high land prices and land scarcity will forbid them from ramping up deliveries and allowing them to grow organically.  If they want to be able to produce new home delivery volume, they will have to start looking in the Sacramento region as well as some parts of the Central Valley.  If and when they move eastward, we will start to see homebuilders look at “paper” lot or entitlement deals, where in the past they were only focused on finished lots.  Time will tell.

Source: Ryan Long, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 16

Summer Sizzle in The OC

The summer sun is here and hopefully it’s shining bright on Taylor Morrison’s GRAND OPENING of the Palisades – located in the Vista Del Verde master plan in Yorba Linda. Townhomes will range from 2,206-2,626 square feet and pricing starts in the high $500’s for 6 floor plans.  The opening event is planned for Saturday, June 30th!

Apartments here in Orange County remain HOT!  Rents are UP and more supply continues to come on the line and lease up quickly – even leasing up ahead of schedule, as is the case at The Irvine Company’s newest community, Cypress Village.

The City of Lake Forest approved Toll Brothers & Shea’s plans for Baker Ranch, a +2,300-unit development on +380 acres. The land is one of the City’s “Opportunities Study Areas,” enabling residential development now that the land use is no longer affected by the El Toro Marine Base flight path.

In the recent elections, the City of Yorba Linda passed both Measures H & I.  The Measures allow for increased development on a number of sites that will accommodate moderate, low and very low income households.

The Olson Company will be building 27 single-family homes and 61 townhomes  at the future Solano Walk in Fountain Valley adjacent to the Civic Center.

Source: Allison Rawlins, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 26, and Mike Hunter, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 37

Inland Empire… It’s FBO!

Economic news in Southern California’s Inland Empire appears to be looking up these days.  But is the homebuilding recovery here to stay?  Is it Facebook Official?

Last week, Land Advisors’ Senior Marketing Consultant Doug Jorritsma gave a presentation to a group of professionals regarding the state of the land/homebuilding market in the Inland Empire (Western San Bernardino & Riverside Counties).  On board with the wave of social media sweeping our communication style these days, Doug kept the message short, sweet, and direct, highlighting the market facts with a Facebook-like thumbs up or thumbs down.  Check ‘em out here…

DISLIKE

  • Unemployment/job generation still a big problem
  • State financial crisis looms large (Redevelopment Agencies and Schools)
  • Construction lending still challenging
  • Number of housing permits is currently 28% of what is was at the market’s peak

LIKE!

  • The worst is behind us!
  • Lenders dispositions are done! (Except for the little stuff.)
  • Most public and private homebuilders will be increasingly active going forward
  • Single and multi-family building permits are on the rise – (Currently DOUBLE 2009 numbers)
  • Institutional capital and private equity slowly giving THUMBS UP
  • No finished lot supply creates a near-term shortage
  • Land values are slowly trending up
  • Foreclosure activity is trending down
  • Five-month upward trend of improving new home sales
  • Big box industrial gets a double THUMBS UP
  • Interest rates are to remain low through 2014
  • Consumer confidence is improving which means retail sales are improving
  • Apartment vacancies currently at 4% – 6%, rents are up 1% – 5%

Land Advisors ♥’s Social Media

Source:Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant, and Winn Galloway, Senior Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288

San Diego County Market Trends Update

The Coastal Counties of Southern California (including San Diego County), continue to garner attention as on the fast track to a near-term market recovery in the housing market.

The word on the street today in the real estate industry (locally and on Wall Street) is that San Diego County is suffering from a supply shortage of new construction rental housing.

A robust supply of capital appears to be anxiously awaiting the opportunity to finance the development of new multi-family housing in “A” and “B” locations throughout the County. Given the perceived shortage of new construction rentals, nine multi-family projects totaling over 2,600 units are currently in the planning pipeline.

Vacancy rates among new rental townhouse properties that are built and designed with for-sale housing features in the County are close to 100% occupancy, likely due to the ownership of housing design and upgraded features (direct access to two-car enclosed garages etc.), attracting the many foreclosure and short sale “refugees,” or casualties from the “Great Recession.”

The majority of vacant multi-family properties are currently offered in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 per door, depending upon the strength of location.

SAN DIEGO S-CURVE: In the new construction for-sale housing sector, the “San Diego S-Curve Submarket” has dominated new home sales in the County for the last 12 months.

The S-Curve Submarket can be described geographically as: Beginning with the Carmel Valley (Pacific Highlands Ranch, Carmel Country Highlands etc.), moving east along Highway 56; and then north through the Torrey Highlands/Westview High School area along Camino Del Sur up to and including the Del Sur Ranch, and then east through the 4S Ranch and Camino Del Norte Road.

New home communities located within the S-Curve submarket attract many of the white collar executives and engineers who are employed in the biotech and high-tech firms such as Qualcomm, Sony, Hewlett Packard, etc.  These consumers place a heavy premium on the stellar public schools serving this submarket.  They also find access to this area convenient through Interstates 5 and 15, and Highway 56.  The majority of subdivision land within this submarket accommodating new single family detached housing has been equivalent to values ranging between approximately $300,000 and $500,000 per finished lot, depending upon location and lot size.

North San Diego County: In North County large scale residential development remains to be developed in master plans within Del Sur Ranch, the West Robertson Ranch, and Pardee’s land holdings in the Pacific Highlands Ranch Area (east Carmel Valley). A number of sizeable land plays located within the North County perimeter submarkets (Bonsall, Escondido, Valley Center, Fallbrook, Pala Mesa, and the I-15 Corridor between Riverside and San Diego Counties) are awaiting a demand push for the relative large supply of lots and homes in the region.

East San Diego County: In East County, the Fanita Ranch in Santee has yet to be developed.  A steady supply of small bite-sized infill land opportunities are emerging.

South San Diego County: The South Bay is the “800-pound gorilla in the room” because it has thousands of residential units remaining to be developed within existing and proposed master planned communities in the East Chula Vista area and Otay Mesa area.  The Baldwins and extended family, McMillin Communities, and Home Fed are a few of the builders/developers with skin in the game.  In addition, the area between East Chula Vista and the Mexican border (Otay Mesa, Brown Field etc.) has the potential for a large volume of new housing development within the next five years given the revised zoning currently being considered by local government.

With the pending housing market recovery, the development of a vibrant downtown San Diego housing market will be in reach again, once the dust settles concerning local government redevelopment.

Source: Bob McFarland, Marketing Consultant, (858) 568-7428

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

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

Greener Fairways In Coachella Valley’s Future!

What does a $20M pledge for a new medical school, the opening of a privately-funded law school, and a new four-year undergraduate degree program all have in common?

Answer: The Coachella Valley – All of these bright new developments are occurring NOW within the Coachella Valley!

The Coachella Valley can also boast:

  • Two new private homebuilders have entered the sub-market;
  • Several public homebuilders have closed on multiple finished lot opportunities; and
  • A 25-year real estate veteran backed by “New York money” has  closed on and currently entitling a 7,800 unit community

Home Sales Activity

New home sales: Toll Brothers experienced five sales at its new Alta project, located in South Palm Springs, within the first month of its opening!  By selling homes with a price point range from the mid-$700,000’s to the mid-$800,000’s, Toll Brothers is demonstrating how the high-end home market is returning to the Coachella Valley.

Home Resales:  According to MarketWatch, resale home prices have risen 13% since September 2011. For the first time in years, resale inventory is below 4,000 homes and number of months supply is under four months. Last year in April, over 5,700 homes were on the market (approximately 5.7 months of inventory). While prices are still low, both sales pricing and absorption are heading in the right direction!

Noteworthy Permit Activity

The City of Rancho Mirage has issued more new home permits so far this year than all new home permits issued in the City in 2010 and 2011 combined!

In case you missed it:

Stone James led a panel discussion on land in April at the Desert Valleys Building Association’s economic update, “Cut to the Chase for 2012: Our Economic Future.”  The topics and insight generated from the panel discussion are well-summarized and quoted in an article by Mike Perrault at The Desert Sun (via MyDesert.com). Read the article to see what Stone and his fellow real estate experts had to say: Panel: Housing the Best Bet for New Growth.

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