Asian Capital Infusion – San Gabriel Valley and Beyond

In recent months, the new home market in Los Angeles has begun to show signs of improvement with increases in absorption rates, higher pricing and improved buyer traffic. These signs are welcome in an unsteady time and can be strongly attributed to the strength of Asian home buyers. You may be wondering, what is special about Asian home buyers?

Cash and lots of it! Whether speaking with sales agents and home builders in Pasadena, Azusa and other cities, it is astonishing to hear the strength of the deals that are being done by Asian buyers and investors. In a survey of actively selling and recently sold out communities, sales agents expressed as many as 1 out of 3 sales to Asian buyers have closed with 50-100% cash down payments. An even larger proportion of sales to Asian buyers have been well in excess of twenty percent cash down payments to purchase homes. As witnessed by Land Advisors Organization, the Asian buyer pool has even begun branching into new home communities in markets that have been traditionally dominated by other ethnic groups including, Northeast Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

With such a strong influence on the new home market, builders that design communities to meet the needs and desires of the Asian demographic have seen above market pricing, brisk absorption and incredible buyer satisfaction.

In addition, Asian investors have been a strong source of capital infusion via the EB-5 financing program. The program allows Overseas investors receive a green card and get on a fast track to US citizenship upon investing $500,000 into a venture that creates jobs. Each $500,000 investment qualifies for one green card if it creates ten Jobs. Hospitals, Assisted living and Hotels are popular investment due to the high number of jobs created, but residential developments are also being regularly financed through the EB-5 program as well.

The following articles both highlight the strength and demand occurring in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding parts of Los Angeles from Asian home buyers and investors.

http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2011/04/25/asian-wealth-adds-up-to-u-s-home-sale-boom/

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-04-03/us-homes-lure-chinese-buyers/53977638/1

Within the past three months, the Los Angeles Infill Team at Land Advisors has marketed three deals in the San Gabriel Valley and continues to see a strong desire for builders and developers to acquire new communities in this area.

For information regarding available deals and market data, please contact Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Tim Barden or Richard Byrd at (626) 376-9840.

Source: Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant

Flipping Over L.A.: Out With the Old, In With the New

On March 10th, the Los Angeles Times printed an article by Alejandro Lazo titled, “Investors Flip over Highland Park Homes.”  This article details how investors are purchasing physically and/or financially distressed homes in Highland Park at severely discounted values, and renovating both the interior and exteriors of the homes.  Once the homes are upgraded, the investors put them back onto the market, where they are quickly snatched up by young hipsters and urbanites, yielding great returns for the investors. 

While Lazo’s article does a good job of summarizing the L.A. flip story, his article only begins to illustrate the dramatic home flip activity in the denser, urban areas of Los Angeles. 

In the last 24 months, the Land Advisors Organization Urban Infill Team (Richard Byrd, Tim Barden and Chris Gomez-Ortigoza) has utilized a proprietary method to create a “Flip Analysis” in areas including Hollywood, Silver Lake, Mid-City, Echo Park, Eagle Rock and Pasadena.  In completing each Flip Analysis, the Team is able to draw conclusions and provide concrete information regarding the values that new home buyers place on turnkey homes in a specific neighborhood.  Providing the Flip Analysis creates a level of comfort for builders and developers assessing values, as it illustrates the tremendous demand each flip creates.  More importantly, it shows land buyers the range of values they can expect for a new development in neighborhoods that have little to no recently built, comparable projects. 

The chart below illustrates average values associated with a handful of “Flip Analyses” that we have run during 2011-2012.

The data above represents only averages associated with flips in each neighborhood.  The value increase for individual flips varies with the amount of work done on the home.  Homes with minimal improvements, such as new sod and paint may command a 10-20% increase in value.  Completely gutted and remodeled homes regularly command 50-100% increases in value and more than double in value in some instances. 

As a final snapshot of the Los Angeles infill market, a recent flip analysis illustrated that approximately 18% of flipped homes in Eagle Rock sold for 3% or more above their flipped asking price.  With multiple offers for each property, the turnkey home values are being bid up above asking prices and are creating higher values that positively affect the entire neighborhood.  In today’s market, this is a great sign of what is to come and shows the demand for both new and turnkey homes is alive and well in Los Angeles. 

If you are interested in hearing more about the L.A. Flip Analyses, please contact Land Advisors’ L.A. Urban Infill Team.

Source: Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant, (626) 376-9840 ext. 14; Richard Byrd, Senior Marketing Consultant, (626) 376-9840 ext. 13; and Tim Barden, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 30

PFAR MLS was used to source all resale information.

The Metro Gold Line: a Developer’s Gold Mine

This summer, the Construction Authority awarded the Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture, a $486 million dollar contract to complete the Pasadena to Azusa Gold Line extension project.  Phase 2A is slated to be completed in early 2015, with service running from Downtown Los Angeles to Azusa.  The project will create new Gold Line stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, West Azusa and East Azusa.  Each city along the Gold Line intends to utilize these new stations to enhance residential, retail and mixed-use developments within walking distance of each station. 

The goal of these Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) is to increase the use of public transportation, decrease the effects of sprawl and create a more sustainable way of living.  TODs generally extend out a quarter to a half-mile from a transit station.  The existing development around many of the proposed stations lack density and will allow for the acquisition and entitlement of many parcels for a more dense uses. 

Why is this important?

The San Gabriel Valley is one of the strongest real estate sub-markets in all of California.  The area boasts several examples of successful projects built during the last few years that have exceeded sales expectations.  This includes Pulte Homes’s Rosecrest Lane project that averaged sales over $800,000 per home in Pasadena in 2010-2011. 

Recent land acquisitions, including a 5.4-acre industrial site in Monrovia that is now planned for mixed-use, show the propensity of buyers and developers for both traditional and transit-oriented areas of the San Gabriel Valley.  With densities expected to double in close proximity to a number of these stations, an estimated increase of 100 to 300 residential units will be needed to satisfy renter and buyer demand at each station. 

The Los Angeles Infill team is closely monitoring the Gold Line extension, and can answer any questions builders and investors may have in regards to preparing for the “gold rush.”  For more news and events related to the Gold Line, check out www.foothillextension.org.

Source: Chris Gomez-Ortigoza, Marketing Consultant, (626) 376-9840 x14

Urban Infill Update: Multi-Family Market “On Fire!”

A brief Q&A this morning with Land Advisors’ Urban Infill Marketing Consultant, Tim Barden, revealed the following:

  • Demand for multi-family apartment sites in and around the L.A. Basin is WAY up!
  • Hottest selling areas include Hollywood, Pasadena, L.A.’s Westside, and the South San Fernando Valley
  • Existing Class A apartment buildings are selling at record low cap rates
  • Every multi-family developer seems to be trying to get a piece of the action
  • Commentary: With talk of another economic “double-dip,” is multi-family experiencing the same micro-bubble that was seen after the fall of the housing market in ’06/’07?

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