They’re Not Just Buying Cars (In San Bernardino Co.)

Chrysler Group, LLC posted increased sales of 34% in March, its biggest increase since 2008.  The private sector continued a 25-month job growth streak, adding 120,000 jobs.  Across the nation, foreclosures had the lowest quarterly total since the final quarter of 2007.

This frankly, is the kind of news that we’ve all been waiting… and hoping… and waiting, to hear.  But in our industry, home sales are all that matter.  So the question is: Do increased car sales, steady job growth and decreased foreclosures translate to the housing market?  We believe they do and want to highlight some of the recent activity in the land markets that “Team San Bernardino” covers.

  1. In Eastvale, Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM) has sold 35 homes since January 1st (yes… 35. It’s not a typo).
  2. In neighboring Mira Loma, Richmond American (NYSE: MDC) is averaging 4 sales per month through the start of the year.
  3. After opening just three weeks ago, Meritage Homes (NYSE: MTH) has sold 5 homes in its Rancho Cucamonga project, Whispering Ranch.
  4. Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH) is continuing to sell well in its Yucaipa and Upland projects, averaging approximately 4 sales per month in each project.

So Here’s the Trend…

Improved absorptions lead to decreased lot inventory.  Decreased lot inventory leads to dwindling pipelines.  And thus, dwindling pipelines lead to increased land acquisitions!

So stay steadfast brothers and sisters!!  We are nearing the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Source: Winn Galloway, Senior Marketing Consultant and Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant. You can reach them both at (949) 852-8288.

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Investors Prepare for Future Growth in Inland Empire’s “Ag Preserve”

Senior Marketing Consultants Doug Jorritsma and Winn Galloway (or “Team SB,” as they are affectionately known in the halls of Land Advisors’ Irvine office), are witnessing a rush of investors to the “Ag Preserve” area of the Inland Empire.  The Team has closed four significant land transactions recently within the New Model Colony master plan as investors position themselves for future growth in Inland Empire land values. 

The four deals collectively consist of over 140 acres of unimproved land zoned for residential use. Each of the subject transactions was purchased by private investors from lenders looking to unload distressed assets.  The properties’ buyers plan to hold the land for up to five to seven years, depending on the rate of market recovery.

The South Ontario/New Model Colony is considered to be an “A” location within the Inland Empire. Ideally located near where the Counties of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino intersect, this submarket offers remarkable accessibility to major Southern California employment centers and new home development potential. 

Doug Jorritsma, an Inland Empire land specialist with Land Advisors since 1999, has extensive experience selling land and residential lots within the Ag Preserve, which includes Ontario, Eastvale, Chino, and Norco.  He has sold over 6,000 lots for consideration in excess of $375 million in this submarket alone.

“As the market recovers, the New Model Colony will see increasing interest from homebuilders,” remarked Jorritsma.  “While homebuilder activity has been nearly nonexistent in the New Model Colony, the area is well positioned to see tremendous growth and future development opportunities.”

Winn Galloway, who is also an expert on land activity in the Ag Preserve and surrounding areas stated: “Land values are holding steady which is currently attractive to investors.  In comparison with 2005 land values, investors are able to purchase residential lots at incredible discounts offering an excellent opportunity for patient money to get big returns.”

In 2010/2011, Jorritsma and Galloway together closed 28 land transactions, which consisted of over 7,000 residential lots throughout the northwest Inland Empire for consideration in excess of $192 million.

New Model Colony Master Plan: The New Model Colony encompasses 8,200 gross acres and will allow for the development of 31,188 residential units on 5,196 acres.  It is bound by Riverside Drive to the north, Milliken Avenue and Hamner Avenue to the east, the Riverside County line and Merrill Avenue to the south, and Euclid Avenue to the west.

Source: Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288 ext. 13, and Winn Galloway, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 27

D.R. Horton Hears a Who

While many of the public homebuilders are sitting on the land-buying sidelines this quarter, D.R. Horton hears the call to purchase more land!

Land is scarce in the fictional city of “Whoville” so the D.R. Horton team has taken to several cities in the Inland Empire, and recently closed on transactions in both Eastvale and Chino. 

The Eastvale site consisted of 173 entitled lots just west of the I-15 Freeway. 

Following the mantra of the 1954 book with a similar name, “a deal is a deal no matter how small,” D.R. Horton closed on 43 finished lots in the College Park master planned community. 

In addition, in the first quarter of 2011 Land Advisors assisted D.R. Horton in the acquisition of 53 lots adjacent to California State University – San Bernardino.

2011 TEAM “SB” YEAR IN REVIEW: 

Despite a sluggish market, the San Bernardino Team (Doug Jorritsma & Winn Galloway) participated in several transactions totaling more than $84 million in 2011.  The majority (57%) of transactions was conventional sales; REO’s only accounted for approximately 36% of all transactions.  The Team anticipates the number of REO’s to decline moving into 2012, as many troubled assets have already worked their way through the market. 

On the Buyer side, private investors lead the way totaling 36% of all San Bernardino Team transactions in 2011.  Of the last five transactions, four were purchased by private investors looking for unimproved land for long term hold.   

Echoing the sentiments of the mayor of “Whoville,” “We are here” at Land Advisors to help you with your land needs in 2012.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Source: Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x13 and Winn Galloway, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x27

Lakers Game Anyone?

With all the negativity shared around the real estate industry these days, the California Division’s “Team SB” (known for its cheerful demeanor and rosy disposition) is pouring optimism from the half-full glass in this week’s Landed blog post:

  1. Despite volatile market conditions, single family lots are still trading to public and private builders in well-located sub-markets along the I-15 Corridor. Several properties zoned for residential use are currently in escrow in Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga and Eastvale/Dairylands.
  2. New homes sales are slow throughout San Bernardino County, however, a few communities are selling quite well. For example, Beazer Homes’ (BZH), The Enclave at Crafton Hills, located in Yucaipa, has sold 9 homes in the last two months. Land Advisors originally sold the Crafton Hills lots in “finished” condition to Beazer in late 2010.
  3. Beaumont has been one of Richmond American Homes (MDC), strongest selling sub-markets this year. The public builder’s two actively selling communities are Kensington at Tournament Hills (from low $200s) and Woodhaven (from the upper $100s).
  4. If there is in fact an NBA season (please God!), don’t miss the Lakers game at Citizens Business Bank Arena (next to Team SB’s multi-family listing: Piemonte at Ontario Center) on October 12th.

Team SB covers residential land activity in San Bernardino and Northwest Riverside Counties. For more information on this sub-market (or more cheery market insight), please contact Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x13 and Winn Galloway, Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288 x27.

Only 3 Public Homebuilders in Escrow in W. San Bernardino Co.

In the West San Bernardino County sub-market, only three public homebuilders are currently in escrow.  As banks have worked through a majority of their REO inventory, the residential land deal flow has slowed.

Large land plays are making some headway in the Inland Empire, as indicated by the recent sale of Summerwind Ranch for $33.5 million in Calimesa (represented by Land Advisors Organization), which sits on the Riverside/San Bernardino County border. 

However, apartment developers are starting to branch out from the core coastal markets and look for worthwhile deals in the better performing sub-markets of San Bernardino County such as Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, Chino Hills, and Eastvale.

Source: Winn Galloway (949) 852-8288 x27, Marketing Consultant covering the West San Bernardino County sub-market