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

West Riverside Report

MULTI-FAMILY: Last week Land Advisors’ West Riverside Team wrapped up the marketing of a 16.5-acre mixed-use (multi-family for-rent and commercial) site known as The Village at Magnolia Square, located in the City of Riverside.

With a lack of comparable land sales early in 2012, the initial challenge in selling the multi-family for-rent land was determining the market value.  Assuming a successful escrow and close, The Village at Magnolia Square will mark the third successful multi-family for-rent land sale in the West Riverside submarket (Land Advisors Organization has been a party to all three sales). With three transactions soon under its belt, Land Advisors’ has established a real value foundation for similar land sale opportunities in the submarket.

SINGLE FAMILY: On the single family detached home front, the overall market in West Riverside remains stagnate.  However, homebuilders are finding success in some areas of South Riverside County such as Temecula.  Stronger than expected interest from homebuyers is causing some homebuilders to increase home prices. If strong absorption rates continue, the finished lot and future lot supply within Temecula will quickly vanish, and likely result in pressure on lot sales in Murrieta, Menifee and Wildomar. One development company has already noticed this trend and purchased one development site and has another in escrow in Wildomar.

APPROVALS:  On Tuesday March 13th, the City of Wildomar heard residents’ environmental concerns for a proposed 151-acre residential project. The project will be developed into 315 single family homes with 3.5 acres dedicated to a commercial center and open space. 

In addition, Menifee’s City Council approved a new General Plan land use map after a two year-long process, with a vote of 4 to 1. The land use plan is the first element in writing for the City’s new General Plan and serves as the basic blue print for how land will be used going forward.

Source: Mitch Casillas, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 ext. 23

W. Riverside County: Busier Than You Think

Amid slow overall residential land sales activity in West Riverside County, a number of transactions are still moving forward, and are nearing the finish line.

West Riverside County has experienced few improved lot transactions in 2011, as the submarket hasn’t seen any “turned dirt” since 2009.  A public homebuilder recently closed on approximately 90 “finished” lots in French Valley.  Also, two escrows for “finished” lots are scheduled to close by year’s end:

  • A public homebuilder is buying a ±50-lot project located within the City of Wildomar.
  • A private investor is buying a +100-lot project located in Moreno Valley.

In regards to the apartment/for-rent land market:

  • A ±600-unit site is close to going under contract in Temecula, marking another significantly-sized apartment land escrow in this city in the last six months.
  • Corona still has two large apartment land projects on the market.  It doesn’t appear that buyers are stepping up to the seller’s pricing expectations though.  This may be due to sellers’ knack for overestimating rent appreciation in the coming years.

The Land Advisors’ West Riverside Team put two projects into escrow this month that are in the Menifee area.

Source: Mitch Casillas, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x23

W. Riverside County: Multi-Family Land is Hot…Or Not?

Market Activity – Closed Deals: (Single Family Detached):  Two significant land transactions have closed escrow in the West Riverside County (WRC) sub-market within the last 30 days. In both cases, the buyer was not a public homebuilder. Active buyers in the land market are private investors seeking well-located paper lot and entitlement opportunities and are very bullish in the Cities of Temecula, Murrieta, French Valley, Moreno Valley and Corona.

Public homebuilders remain quiet and are focused on selling through projects they purchased in 2010. However, one public homebuilder does have two sites under contract in Temecula.

A number of other residential projects are currently in escrow in WRC and Land Advisors is on track to close two transactions by month’s end.

On The Market: (Multi-family – For Rent):  Two prominent apartment development sites are available for sale.  Both sites are well-located within the City of Corona.  Apartment land interest and perceived value remains optimistic.  However there have been few sales to justify this optimism. Land Advisors did list and sell Magnolia Village last year which remains the highest comparable apartment land sale in the market.

Building Permit Activity:  In Riverside County last month, builders obtained government permits for 473 units, (257 single family homes and 216 multi-family units – a majority of which are apartments). This is an increase from August which saw permits at 329 units (Source: Press Enterprise).

Source: Mitch Casillas, Marketing Consultant, (949) 852-8288 x23