California Division: 2012 Year in Review

LAO-CA Infographic 2012 YIR

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

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2012 Ends with Numerous Year-End Closings in Southwest Riverside County

The year of 2012 ended with the most activity in southwest Riverside since the peak of activity in 2006. In December alone, public homebuilders closed on over 900 lots. The lot condition ranged from finished lots to unimproved mapped lots. One of the year end highlights of 2012 were two tentative map lot projects contained within the Temecula School District boundary with Land Advisors brokering the sales. The two maps combined to generate over 300 lots and were bought by two public homebuilders.

On the apartment front, a notable fully leased apartment complex is in escrow at a rumored sales price of +/- $215,000 per door.  While this per door number might seem low when compared to the coastal market, the comp will represent the highest per door sale since 2008.

The above transactions are a result of a number of factors from low interest rates to lack of housing supply available to both buyers and renters. In 2012, we saw a decrease in foreclosure sales as well as REO sales and higher sales volume all together when compared to 2011. As we move forward in the New Year, home sale prices are forecasted to receive upward pressure because supply is expected to remain flat.

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

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

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

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

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