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.

Lights… Flashing… Several High Profile Sites Trade Hands in SD County

The San Diego residential land market continues to plod along.  Most offerings are receiving strong interest as the building and development community looks for future inventory.  The general consensus is that the key indicators show stronger markets in the near future and everyone is filling their near-term pipeline (2012-2015).  Land Advisors recently completed the marketing campaign for The Lakes, a 248-lot project in the Rancho Santa Fe area.  The offering received strong interest from around the Nation.

Other notes from around the region…

  1. Meritage Homes made its first entry into the San Diego market with a purchase of 92 semi-finished lots in Oceanside, CA.  The property known as Hi Hope Ranch has a controversial past including lawsuits with the adjoining neighbor, Vista Unified School District, and a bankruptcy.  The property has been on the market for over a year and had been under contract with several builders.  The purchase price was reported to be just over $10 million.
  2. Another high profile Oceanside property also closed escrow.  MG Properties purchased Ocean Village, a “broken” condominium project near the Oceanside City Hall.  According to reports, none of the 33 units in the project were sold and the new owners will be leasing them out as apartments until the market firms.  The purchase price was $11.75 million which should allow the new owners ample room for profits, according to sources familiar with the project.
  3. Proving that you never know where the buyer will come from, a high profile 18-acre infill site in Mission Valley known as West End was purchased at a foreclosure auction last week.  The Buyer, Plaza del Sol Real Estate Trust is believed to be a church group looking for a new campus.  The site had been planned for 490 multi-family units but the project was never approved or developed due to the weak market in 2007-2010.  It is currently occupied by Mission Valley Inn and Frogs Gym.
  4. HOUSING:  According to the experts, foreclosures and defaults were down in September.  Hopefully this signals the start of an orderly process of unwinding the remaining problem properties still in the system, and tempers the uncertainty of prospective buyers:  www.nctimes.com/blogsnew/business/realside/article_fd80ea2f-890c-56bb-8231-d5d4231b30fa.html
  5. Look for new multi-family listings from the San Diego office of Land Advisors Organization in the next few weeks.
  6. Redevelopment of an eyesore in Solana Beach is in the works after American Assets bought a former trailer park on Coast Highway.  The 1.76-acre site at 329 S. Coast Highway finally traded hands at 63% of the original listing price after being on the market for several months.  The Buyer plans to redevelop the site for commercial/residential use.

Source: David Landes, Senior Marketing Consultant, (858) 568-7428

West Riverside County: 4 BIG Deals

Several large residential land deals (consisting of +500 lots) have closed in West Riverside County in 2011. 

Land Advisors represented the buyers and the sellers in three of the most notable transactions: McSweeny Farms (1,330 lots in Hemet), Summerwind Ranch (3,683 lots in Calimesa) and Underwood (543 lots in Menifee).  Another large completed deal to note is Stoneridge with 2,200 lots in Unincorporated Riverside County.

Public homebuilders are currently refraining from purchasing more residential lots within the County’s secondary and tertiary markets of San Jacinto, Hemet and Perris, as finished lot values in these sub-markets are off 55-65% from peak values. 

The lot values in and around the primary market of Corona are currently off peak values by 35%.

Richmond American Homes (MDC), Beazer Homes (BZH), D.R. Horton (DHI), and Meritage Homes (MTH) have completed transactions in the West Riverside County sub-market during 2011.  However, private investors have been more aggressive in seizing opportunities, and are proving to be more active buyers.

Source: Jeff Spindler, Founding Principal (949) 852-8288 x12 and Mitch Casillas, Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288 x23