Surf & Sales Up in Ventura County

In the last week of March 2012, the California Division of Land Advisors Organization closed the final portion of “The Bungalows at Beach House,” located in Port Hueneme, Ventura County.  The Ventura County Team (Richard Byrd, Randy Coe and Michel Faris) represented the buyer and the seller in the sale of 29 “near finished” lots in the former John Laing Homes community.

The Bungalows at Beach House originally consisted of 64 lots of which 35 have already been built and sold. The 29 subject 4,000 – 5,000 square foot lots sold to Standard Pacific Homes; the seller was a court appointed receiver.

The Port Hueneme deal was a significant transaction in a wave of SEVEN land transactions that the California Division closed in the last week of the first quarter.  The number of transactions rushing to the finish line at the end of the first quarter may signal a broad-based upturn in the California land market, and the diverse characteristics and widespread geographic reach are exemplary of the California Division’s extensive residential land expertise.

“Improved lots are extremely scarce in many markets throughout California,” said Tom Reimers, the California Division’s President.  “The relative success of the spring selling season has caused homebuilders’ supply of buildable lots to dwindle, and is pushing the builders back into the land market for replacement lots.”

VCStar.com reported: In Ventura County, 820 single-family homes and condos were sold in March, compared with 757 in March 2011, an increase of 8.3 percent. In February this year, 606 homes were sold. In January, 561 homes were sold.  The median price for a home sold in Ventura County in March was $350,000, compared with $349,000 in March 2011. READ MORE

Source: Richard Byrd, Senior Marketing Consultant (626) 376-9840 ext. 13; and Michel Faris, Marketing Consultant (949) 852-8288 ext. 14.

Central Coast: Full Sails Again for Santa Barbara Realtors

Spring flowers are blooming, the Pacific Ocean breeze is blowing, and South Santa Barbara home sales activity is picking up!  Central Coast resale agents are finding themselves busy again.  Traffic, escrows, listings and pricing in certain areas are all up, kicking the Central Coast’s spring selling season into gear.

The Beautiful Santa Barbara Real Estate Blog reported… Santa Barbara Real Estate through the end of March ‘12 for Montecito, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and Summerland:  Comparing the first 3 months of 2011 with the same period in 2012, sales are up about 35% with escrows up over 50% and the median sales price is up bit while the average sales prices is down a bit. Year-over-year the Sales Price to Original Price ratio is within 2% of where it was last year and the Days on the Market for sold properties is within 12 days of where it was in 2011.

An example of the Central Coast’s uplifting sales activity is City Ventures’ East Beach Collection in Santa Barbara.  The 48-unit attached townhome project is seeing impressive sales, with only 5 more to go before completion.  The project has sold 15 homes in 2012 (5 per month!).  The City Ventures marketing team attributes the strong homebuyer interest to the project’s unique location, quality product and the limited supply of new product currently available in the marketplace.  The East Beach Collection is four blocks from Santa Barbara’s famous State Street and four blocks to the ocean.  With no amenities and surrounded mostly by office buildings, the project is in the new hip, up-and-coming area (also referred to as the “funk zone”).

Source: Matt Power, Senior Marketing Consultant, (805) 845-2660

Rebound in Sacramento …and We’re Not Talkin’ Hoops

The data says it all.  A look at the latest Ryness Report will tell you that new home sales are solid across the board in just about all actively selling communities in Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer Counties.

Pricing is still flat but absorption is clearly picking up.  Builder anxiety for the spring selling season seems to be subsiding and confidence in the market is growing.

More evidence to a turnaround is the fact that a very prominent publicly traded homebuilder who vacated the Sacramento Region a few years ago is back.  A new division president is once again at the helm and looking to grow the Sacramento Division, including the Central Valley and Reno.

See the data: Sacramento Regional Real Estate Trends for March 17, 2012

Sacramento foreclosures down 8.8% from a year ago: Foreclosure activity in Sacramento during February fell when compared with the same period a year ago but remained largely unchanged from January, according to figures released Thursday from RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure information company.  Full Story

Region home sales up by 16.6%, but prices are down: Homes sales in the four-county Sacramento region were higher by 16.6 percent on a year-over-year basis in February, according to data released Thursday by real estate information firm DataQuick.  Average prices were lower from a year ago, however, for all four counties.  Full Story

Source: Jim Radler, Senior Marketing Consultant, (916) 784-3329 ext. 11

Fresno, Spring in its Step?

This winter, Fresno homebuyer traffic is the best we’ve seen in 2+ years! Could it be due to Fresno’s declining unemployment rate?  Or, perhaps it’s the dry warm weather this season?  Either way, homebuilders active in the Fresno marketplace right now are welcoming the new interest from homebuyers with open arms as the spring selling season begins full bloom.

Median new home base prices are hovering around $110 per square foot, which is $60 per square less than peak values in 2006.

News You Can Use from the Fresno/Clovis Submarket…

Valley Builders Optimistic In Spite Of Housing Market: Despite a sea of foreclosures and bargain-priced houses for sale across the central San Joaquin Valley, homebuilders are still finding a reason to raise the walls and roofs on new homes… MORE

More on the Activity in Fresno’s New Home Market:  New home construction seems to be on an upswing in neighborhoods across the Valley. And builders are optimistic that the market is starting to turn. (This week’s) story in The Bee tells you what some Fresno homebuilders have done to get through the downturn and who is buying new, but it doesn’t cover everyone.

Here’s a look at what other builders in town have done to attract buyers along with more from homebuyers that we couldn’t squeeze into the final story… READ ON

Clovis City Council Oks Map Laying Out City’s Future:  A plan that lays out the future neighborhoods of Clovis was approved Monday (2/13) night by the City Council, despite fears from some rural residents that it won’t adequately protect their land from urban intrusion. …Rural residents who live on large lots east of the city say a proposed open-space buffer of 100 feet is not wide enough to shield their homes from the housing tracts of smaller-lot homes that would be allowed under the new general plan… READ ON or, WATCH VIDEO via KFSN.

California’s High-Speed Rail Project Continues despite Criticism: California’s high-speed rail project is already projected to take longer and be more costly than originally projected, but the obstacles facing it are not yet over. Governor Jerry Brown is trying to push the project through the Legislature this year, though… MORE

Source: Mark Utman, Marketing Consultant, (559) 449-4500