FRESNO: Fat Tuesday, Skinny Inventory

Now is the time for homebuilders to open their stalled legacy projects. Beazer Homes recently closed out The Groves at Sunnyside Point, their neighborhood adjacent to KB Home’s Olive Lane new home community located in Sunnyside Fresno. New homebuilders will not have to compete as hard for new home buyers shopping the area.

HOME PRICES
According to the California Association of Realtors, Fresno County home prices increased 15.3%, but sales were down 22.2% from the previous year. Madera County saw prices increase 36.1%, but sales were down 24.4% from the previous year. However, sales are looking up with a 19.2% increase in sales from the previous month in Madera County.

December 2012 County Sales and Price Activity

Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes

# of Sales

County

12-Dec

12-Nov

11-Dec

MTM% Chg

YTY% Chg

MTM% Chg

YTY% Chg

Fresno

$157,620

$148,240

$136,740

6.3%

15.3%

-2.5%

-22.2%

Madera

$144,290

$113,330

$106,000

27.3%

36.1%

19.2%

-24.4%

Source: California Association of Realtors

UNSOLD INVENTORY & TIME ON MARKET
According to Land Advisors Organization research, unsold inventory in Fresno County decreased 7.3% from the previous year and Madera County decreased 47.4% from the previous year. The median time on market decreased 24.1% in Fresno County and increased 25.4% in Madera County from the previous year.

December 2012 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market

Unsold Inventory Index

Median Time on Market

County

12-Dec

12-Nov

11-Dec

12-Dec

12-Nov

11-Dec

Fresno

3.8 Months

4.2 Months

4.1 Months

26.4 Days

26.3 Days

34.8 Days

Madera

2 Months

3.2 Months

3.8 Months

64.6 Days

27.9 Days

51.5 Days

Source: California Association of Realtors

FINISHED LOT INVENTORY
Home Buyer demand is escalating fast.  Quality resale inventory is sparse.  If you own 10 or more acres of land in the path of development, you should be at the City processing a subdivision map faster than Mardi Gras beads flying from a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street.  If you are not familiar with the entitlement process please contact me so I can help get you started.

NEW DEVELOPMENT
Fresno developers plan medical campus at Millerton Lake. FULL STORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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