Demand Rising for (Residential) Land in Fresno

More land buyers than sellers? That’s the story in Fresno today.  In preparing for the economy to rebound, builders are reloading their inventory of buildable lots.  However, finding lots at market rate prices is not easy in Fresno.  Lot inventory has been thinning since 2008 and only a handful of new maps have been recorded or are currently in process at the City.  Inferior locations are still quiet, but residential lots that are in A & B locations are receiving multiple bids.

  • April 2012 Finished Lot Inventory: Fresno = 1,051 Vacant Finished Lots; Clovis = 1,199 Vacant Finished Lots

April 2012 – Land Advisors closed additional finished lots on a rolling takedown to Lennar in southeast Fresno.  The public homebuilder bought the lots as an extension to a legacy project it already has under its wings.

Apartment activity is picking up: This month Santa Barbara Bank & Trust sold 8 acres of unimproved land, approved for 78 multifamily units.

ZONE CHANGE APPROVAL:  On April 4th, the Fresno Planning Commission  unanimously approved plans and a zoning change for a north Fresno 118-home development by McCaffrey Homes with a stipulation that homes on the east side of the project adjacent to the existing Bella Montagna development will be single story.  FULL STORY

  • The 13-acre site was originally zoned for commercial/retail use.  The recent approval by the Planning Commission is controversial for the local residents in the area, and the Fresno City Council will now meet on the issue to vote. (Watch the VIDEO via CBS 47)

GENERAL PLAN UPDATE:  The Fresno GP update calls for a more controlled approach to residential growth. Earlier this month, the Fresno Planning Commission unanimously endorsed Plan A which aims to maintain the current sphere of influence, and protects prime agricultural land from becoming more subdivisions.  Approval is slated for April 19th.

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

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Investors Prepare for Future Growth in Inland Empire’s “Ag Preserve”

Senior Marketing Consultants Doug Jorritsma and Winn Galloway (or “Team SB,” as they are affectionately known in the halls of Land Advisors’ Irvine office), are witnessing a rush of investors to the “Ag Preserve” area of the Inland Empire.  The Team has closed four significant land transactions recently within the New Model Colony master plan as investors position themselves for future growth in Inland Empire land values. 

The four deals collectively consist of over 140 acres of unimproved land zoned for residential use. Each of the subject transactions was purchased by private investors from lenders looking to unload distressed assets.  The properties’ buyers plan to hold the land for up to five to seven years, depending on the rate of market recovery.

The South Ontario/New Model Colony is considered to be an “A” location within the Inland Empire. Ideally located near where the Counties of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino intersect, this submarket offers remarkable accessibility to major Southern California employment centers and new home development potential. 

Doug Jorritsma, an Inland Empire land specialist with Land Advisors since 1999, has extensive experience selling land and residential lots within the Ag Preserve, which includes Ontario, Eastvale, Chino, and Norco.  He has sold over 6,000 lots for consideration in excess of $375 million in this submarket alone.

“As the market recovers, the New Model Colony will see increasing interest from homebuilders,” remarked Jorritsma.  “While homebuilder activity has been nearly nonexistent in the New Model Colony, the area is well positioned to see tremendous growth and future development opportunities.”

Winn Galloway, who is also an expert on land activity in the Ag Preserve and surrounding areas stated: “Land values are holding steady which is currently attractive to investors.  In comparison with 2005 land values, investors are able to purchase residential lots at incredible discounts offering an excellent opportunity for patient money to get big returns.”

In 2010/2011, Jorritsma and Galloway together closed 28 land transactions, which consisted of over 7,000 residential lots throughout the northwest Inland Empire for consideration in excess of $192 million.

New Model Colony Master Plan: The New Model Colony encompasses 8,200 gross acres and will allow for the development of 31,188 residential units on 5,196 acres.  It is bound by Riverside Drive to the north, Milliken Avenue and Hamner Avenue to the east, the Riverside County line and Merrill Avenue to the south, and Euclid Avenue to the west.

Source: Doug Jorritsma, Senior Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288 ext. 13, and Winn Galloway, Senior Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 27