Builders’ land rush continues in the Inland Empire with two land sales that will create 1,250 new residences.
Broker Province West says Meritage Homes has bought 850 home sites in Beaumont and KB Home acquired 400 lots in Lake Elsinore.
In Beaumont, Irvine-based landowner SunCal sold the final phases of the 3,300-home The Fairways next to the PGA Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon.
The purchase, the largest for Meritage’s Southern California division, includes lots ranging in size from 5,000 to 6,000 square feet with move-ins as soon as late 2022. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Skip Adhttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.471.1_en.html#goog_207951206https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.471.1_en.html#goog_807419984https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.471.1_en.html#goog_1706741424
“Our strategic acquisition in The Fairways will play a key role in Meritage’s community count and home delivery growth objectives for the foreseeable future,” said Nick Emsiek, the division’s president.
In northern Lake Elsinore, Orange County-based Spectrum Communities sold its Terracina project, a ready-to-go community planned for 400 single-family homes on lots starting at 4,500 square feet. Move-in could start as early as mid-2022. Terms were not disclosed.
These deals are part of an evolving trend with some of homebuilding’s biggest players from Wall Street taking a noteworthy stand in the Inland Empire. Province West says it completed five, 500-plus lot transactions with five different publicly owned homebuilders since October 2020 vs. six similar land acquisitions in the previous 10 years.
“The Fairways transaction is further evidence of a dramatic shift and expansion in acquisition parameters by the public homebuilders,” says McDonough. “It demonstrates a willingness to deploy significant capital and assume relatively oversized development, entitlement, and market risk to secure the land needed to accommodate pipeline replenishment and growth.”
Earlier this year, SunCal announced it sold 3,052 homesites at the long-stalled, 2,590-acre Summerwind Trails master-planned community in Calimesa. The buyer was Pasadena builder Paul Onufer’s JPMB Investments backed by real estate financier JEN Partners.
The buying splurge fueled a 9% jump in prices of ready-to-build lots in the western slice of the Inland Empire — a region including Beaumont and Calimesa — in the 12 months ended in June, says the Land Advisors Organization brokerage. In Beaumont so far this year, lot values have increased almost 20% to $175,000 to $190,000 for a 5,000-to-7,000 square feet of land.
“Due to strong home buyer demand and lack of supply, residential land values are up throughout the Inland Empire,” said brokers Ian Sinderhoff and Doug Jorritmsa at Land Advisors. “In the more attainable submarkets, like Beaumont, land values have increased significantly.”
New home sales are brisk. In the 12 months ended in May, Inland Empire builders closed sales for 10,398 new homes — up 142% vs. the previous five-year average, according to DQNews.
Ontario Ranch in Ontario was ranked as the seventh-fastest selling master-planned community in the nation for the first half of 2021, according to RCLCO Real Estate Consulting. It saw 501 signed contracts in six months vs. 339 in the chilly pandemic debut of 2020 — a 48% jump.
No. 8 was Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine by Five Point Communities with 467 contracts vs. 242 a year earlier — a 93% jump.