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Real Estate–No Surprise Here: New-Home Prices Continue Climb



An Diego Interior Design Firm Wins BIA onors for Barratt American Project

Across the price spectrum, housing across the county is in great demand and getting more expensive, several sources said in January.

Barone Galasso and Associates Inc. of San Diego said Jan. 27 that more than 1,700 families applied for 116 new affordable housing units at its project grand opening in Carlsbad.

Meanwhile, an official of Reynolds Communities of San Diego said Jan. 14 its Sun River project is 85 percent sold out. It opened for sale July 17.

Mike Reynolds, president of the development company, said the project has become the fastest-selling subdivision in East County. That is according to Market Profiles of San Diego, a real estate statistics firm, he said.

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Only eight of the 70 homes in Sun River are still available, Reynolds added. The houses range from 1,565 to 1,938 square feet and have from three to five bedrooms. The prices at the development range from $215,900 to $244,900, Reynolds said.

San Diego County’s apartment vacancy rate is below 1 percent now and rents have climbed to an average of $857 per month as of September, according to the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Bulletin.

The average price of a resale house in the county rose more than 19 percent last year, hitting $314,192 in December 1999, the San Diego Association of Realtors said in January.

At Rancho Carrillo Apartments in Carlsbad, where rents for qualified low-income families start at $466 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, demand has been overwhelming, said Michael B. Galasso, president of Barone Galasso.

“We’ve hardly done any marketing and get 70 to 80 families stopping by our leasing office every day looking for housing that they can afford,” Galasso said. “We wish we could have built 116 more units. The demand is so great.”

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Winner’s Circle: San Diego-based Klang & Associates won an award from the Building Industry Association of San Diego for residential interior decorating.

The award from the association’s Sales and Marketing Council was for interior design of the Iris Plan at Barratt American’s Rembrandt neighborhood in the French Valley area near Temecula, said Lisa Klang, lead designer.

“Every time we start a new project, our goal is to create a unique space that both complements a home’s architecture and entices the home buyer to purchase,” Klang said.

She said her firm, founded in 1995, specializes in residential interior design for new home developments.

N.N. Jaeschke Inc. of San Diego, a full-service property management firm for community associations, was awarded two contracts this month, a company spokesman said.

The first contract is for landscape and building maintenance services at La Jolla Village Tennis Club, a 120-unit attached condominium community at La Jolla Village and Lebon drives in La Jolla, said Rick Griffin, a company spokesman.

The other contract is for property management and landscape services for San Diego Mission Gate, a 98-unit townhouse community at Camino de la Reina and Mission Center Road in the Mission Valley area, he said.

President Installed: Chris Lewis, an agent at McMillin Realty’s Bonita office, was recently installed as president of the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors, a Chula Vista-based professional association.

Isabel Hall, manager of McMillin’s Bonita office, said Lewis also served as president of the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce in 1996. Lewis is a member of that city’s economic development commission.

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Peaking Market: San Diego’s commercial real estate market is nearing a cyclical peak, according to a report released last month by an organization of real estate agents.

The annual survey by the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors said a vibrant economy in the county led to absorption of more than 2.5 million square feet of space in 1999.

That surpasses the total for 1998, said Don Grant, president of the society’s San Diego chapter.

The 2000 forecast for San Diego’s office property market said most new office construction would occur in the North City and North County areas. High-tech companies and service providers are predicted to be the main lessees of the new space, the report said.

Downtown will continue to benefit from a major redevelopment effort as well, the report said.

The North County industrial property market will see a lot of speculative construction, resulting in an increase in the overall vacancy rate. Speculative construction is the term used for buildings that are erected prior to leasing, Grant said.

“The continued growth of the local high-tech industry created a large demand for research and development in 1999,” he said. “Industrial land shortages in the central city submarket will also push development to Otay Mesa.”


Insurance Firm: Fraud Arrests Up in 1999

San Diego’s Golden Eagle Insurance Corp. fraud investigators made more arrests in 1999 than in the previous year, a company spokesman said.

The arrest total was 42, up from 36 in 1998, said George Tye, a company spokesman.

In one case, the company helped the San Diego District Attorney’s Office get the long est criminal sentence ever given to an insurance fraud perpetrator anywhere in the state, he said.

On Dec. 1, Dennis Russell, owner of San Diego County-based Dennis Russell Construction, was sentenced to six years in state prison for premium fraud against Golden Eagle and another insurance company, Tye said.


Environmental Firm Gets El Capitan Project

Ninyo & Moore Geotechnical and Environmental Sciences Consultants Inc. of San Diego has been retained for work on the proposed access road widening at El Capitan Reservoir near Lakeside.

The access road is about two miles long and serves the boat launch facility at the reservoir, said Elizabeth Morud, a spokeswoman for the consulting firm.

The company’s services include a preliminary site reconnaissance, sampling of soil along the road route and geologic mapping, she said.

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