Some local homebuilders said 1999 was a record year for them, and government statistics reveal a healthy new-house market ahead this year as well.
The Corky McMillin Cos. of National City posted its best year for the third year in a row in 1999 with $507 million in gross revenues from all five subsidiaries. That’s an increase of 14 percent from the $445 million recorded in 1998, said CEO Corky McMillin.
McMillin Homes, the house-building subsidiary of the McMillin Cos., sold 677 new houses in San Diego and Riverside counties last year. That’s up from 525 houses sold in 1998. It also beat the company’s previous best year of 1978, when 569 houses were sold, he said.
Continental Homes in San Diego closed escrow on 556 homes in San Diego and Riverside counties in 1999 and about 200 more than 1998, said Greg Hastings, division president. The company is a subsidiary of D.R. Horton Inc., the third-largest single-family residential developer in the country, Hastings said.
Continental Homes is the master developer and builder of eight neighborhoods with a total of 825 home sites at Rancho Carrillo in Carlsbad. The company is also building 309 homes at Moonlight Ridge in Riverside, 113 homes at Grizzly Ridge in Murrieta, 156 homes at Vistara in Temecula and 61 homes at Creekside Estates in Chula Vista.
“We’ve already amassed 60 sales so far this year and we will open eight new single-family residential projects during 2000,” Hastings said earlier this month.
Marketpoint Realty Advisors of San Diego, a statistical reporting firm, picked Kaufman & Broad of Los Angeles as the biggest seller of new homes in the county last year. The company sold 717 homes. Shea Homes San Diego was in second place, with 640 sales, while Pardee Homes of Newport Beach sold 570.
McMillin was in fourth with 522 local sales, Marketpoint reported. Presley Homes of San Diego was in fifth place with 518 sales. Continental Homes had 411 San Diego County sales last year.
The U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this month reported building permits issued in January for single-family residences rose to 675 in San Diego County. That’s the most recent month for which statistics are available and the figures are a 5 percent increase from the 642 issued in January 1999.
Market Confidence Remains High
Approximately 170 members of varied real estate professions were recently surveyed by the Meyers Group of Irvine regarding their expectations for 2000 and the level of confidence in the California market.
About 85 percent of the respondents were optimistic about the Southern California area when polled in late 1998, compared to 88 percent of those questioned late in 1999.
“We believe 1998’s responses were significantly impacted by perceived weaknesses in the financial markets,” said Tim Sullivan, a spokesman for the Meyers Group in San Diego.
Four of the five areas identified as the most promising for growth were in Southern California, Sullivan said. The Riverside-San Bernardino area was regarded as the most promising, followed by San Diego County, followed by the Los Angeles-Ventura-Kern counties area, and Orange County. Sacramento County was fifth.
The respondents polled in the latest survey saw the shortage of affordable land that could be developed as the greatest challenge facing them, Sullivan said. About 71 percent of those surveyed late last year saw higher land prices ahead, compared to 68 percent surveyed in 1999, he said.
That is reflected in the fact that this year 45 percent of them said they planned to buy more vacant lots in 2000 than they did in 1999, he said.