New Home Sales in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County Pick Up The Pace!

New Home Closings in San Luis Obispo Climb According to Newest Data, Prices Steady

Posted on: Mar 07, 2013 07:33:55 AM

In the San Luis Obispo, CA market, closings of new homes jumped year-over-year in December, and the increase was greater than November 2012. New home closings moved from 12 a year earlier to 52 after the figure moved from eight in November 2011 to 15 in November 2012.

A total of 154 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 114 for the year that ended in November.

New home closings were 52 out of 420 total closings, making up 12.4%. This is up on a percentage basis from 12 of 366 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also rose year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average per-unit price of new homes was $442,185 in December 2012, unchanged from a year ago. This came after a 5.0% decline in November from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes fell from $339,237 to $287,378. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $290,161 in November 2011 to $379,406 in November 2012. For new home closings, the percentage of the sale price that was being financed slid 11.7 percentage points year-over-year to 65.0% in December 2012. In November 2012, there was a 23.3 percentage point surge from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends
The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. Attached closings made up six of 52 new home closings after accounting for one of 12 a year earlier. Meanwhile, single-family homes made up 46 of 52 new home closings after making up 11 of 12 a year earlier.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,069 square feet a year earlier to 1,767 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in December, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 23.1% of closings, below 48.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dipped to 9.5% in December from 17.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 13.6% from 30.5% a year earlier.

Source: Housing Intelligence

New Home Sales and Prices Both Increase in Santa Barbara According to Recent Data

Posted on: Mar 07, 2013 07:34:03 AM

The Santa Barbara, CA market saw a rise in new home closings in December year-over-year, and the increase was greater than November 2012. New home closings moved from six a year earlier to 40 after the figure moved from nine in November 2011 to 19 in November 2012.

A total of 192 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 158 for the year that ended in November.

New home closings were 40 of the 419 total closings, up on a percentage basis from six of 429 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in November, closings of new and existing homes slipped year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average per-unit price of new homes was $642,463 in December 2012, up from $635,250 a year ago. This followed a 34.9% decline in November from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes increased to $434,179 from $417,104 last year. It went from $353,984 to $350,950 from November 2011 to November 2012. Of the overall sale price, the percentage that was being financed rose 1.9 percentage points year-over-year to 67.6% in December 2012. This was another boost after November 2012 when there was a 28.1 percentage point rise from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends
As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have risen from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. Single-family home closings made up 39 of 40 new home closings after accounting for five of six a year earlier. Meanwhile, attached units made up one of 40 new home closings after making up one of six closings a year earlier.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in December from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 30.6% of existing home closings, down from 49.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 11.3% in December from 26.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 19.3% from 23.6% a year earlier.

Source: Housing Intelligence

Source: Matt Power, Senior Marketing Consultant, (805) 845.2660


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

Why is the market so hot?!!!!

It always boils down to the fundamentals — Supply and Demand. We know that the Bay Area is always supply constrained and the real estate collapse took many of the higher density projects and put them in a deep freeze, meaning we had even fewer new projects adding to the supply from 2008 ’til today. Now we have a new phenomenon, for all the people that got foreclosed on and were supposedly going to be renters the rest of their lives, it turns out they still want to buy homes and for the many that got foreclosed early in the cycle their time in the penalty box is over.

And as foreclosures in CA and the Bay Area continue their downward trajectory, people waiting for that ‘distressed’ buying opportunity may never see it materialize.

Rather than competing with 10-20 other offers as soon as a ‘bank-owned’ home hits the market, buyers are finding the process of buying a new home to be more appealing as builders ramp up community production.

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

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.

Source: Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant

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

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

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