Bay Area: Back to the future—Are condos the new apartments???

I have to admit it…I was dead wrong. I thought (like many others) that condos were going to be dead for a while.  Many people really don’t want to live in a condo but they end up “settling” for them because of the relative affordability closer to job bases. As prices in the Bay Area have resumed their pre-collapse march up at 10+% per year, condos are making resurgence.

Given the resurgence in attached for-sale product in the Bay Area, the “highest and best” use has now probably switched back to condos from apartments.  And it probably won’t be long before we see the reverse of what happened a few years ago where condo sites were re-entitled to apartment deals.  Now we’ll start seeing apartment sites re-entitled to townhomes and condos. If you have one of these sites feel free to give us a call to help evaluate all the options in the fast changing market.  There are many factors to consider in making this kind of decision; our in-fill experts can help you juggle all the factors to position your site for maximum sales proceeds!

http://www.contracostatimes.com/business/ci_22613042/bay-area-condos-tight-supply-has-buyers-scrambling.html

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

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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

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

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

Demand Rising for (Residential) Land in Fresno

More land buyers than sellers? That’s the story in Fresno today.  In preparing for the economy to rebound, builders are reloading their inventory of buildable lots.  However, finding lots at market rate prices is not easy in Fresno.  Lot inventory has been thinning since 2008 and only a handful of new maps have been recorded or are currently in process at the City.  Inferior locations are still quiet, but residential lots that are in A & B locations are receiving multiple bids.

  • April 2012 Finished Lot Inventory: Fresno = 1,051 Vacant Finished Lots; Clovis = 1,199 Vacant Finished Lots

April 2012 – Land Advisors closed additional finished lots on a rolling takedown to Lennar in southeast Fresno.  The public homebuilder bought the lots as an extension to a legacy project it already has under its wings.

Apartment activity is picking up: This month Santa Barbara Bank & Trust sold 8 acres of unimproved land, approved for 78 multifamily units.

ZONE CHANGE APPROVAL:  On April 4th, the Fresno Planning Commission  unanimously approved plans and a zoning change for a north Fresno 118-home development by McCaffrey Homes with a stipulation that homes on the east side of the project adjacent to the existing Bella Montagna development will be single story.  FULL STORY

  • The 13-acre site was originally zoned for commercial/retail use.  The recent approval by the Planning Commission is controversial for the local residents in the area, and the Fresno City Council will now meet on the issue to vote. (Watch the VIDEO via CBS 47)

GENERAL PLAN UPDATE:  The Fresno GP update calls for a more controlled approach to residential growth. Earlier this month, the Fresno Planning Commission unanimously endorsed Plan A which aims to maintain the current sphere of influence, and protects prime agricultural land from becoming more subdivisions.  Approval is slated for April 19th.

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