Orange County Business Journal

Homebuilders Up 3%, Still Well Shy of Peak Years

Irvine Pacific No.1 for Second-Straight Year Mark Mueller Sunday, February 24, 2013
Century Village: 53-unit townhome project by Brandywine Homes in Garden Grove is sold out as construction wraps up

Century Village: 53-unit townhome project by Brandywine Homes in Garden Grove is sold out as construction wraps up

Newport Beach-based Irvine Co.’s in-house building division, Irvine Pacific LP, continues to be a prime beneficiary of the strong sales on the company’s land.

Irvine Pacific saw 439 total sales—a 52% year-over-year increase—in 2012, keeping it in the No. 1 spot on the Business Journal’s list for the second-straight year.

“Attractive home prices, continued low interest rates, open floor plans that emphasize casual living and indoor-outdoor entertaining, and the opportunity to enjoy the unique lifestyle offered in our masterplanned neighborhoods with world-class schools, safe streets and abundant amenities have made Irvine Pacific homes very attractive to new home buyers,” said Tom Veal, Irvine Pacific’s vice president of residential sales and marketing.

Irvine Pacific was one of 11 builders on this week’s list that posted yearly increases in sales. Nine builders marked decreases, and six were new entries to the list.

The 26 companies on this week’s list combined for a 16.4% increase in 2012 sales, compared to their own 2011 results.

Other builders with notable jumps in sales included Aliso Viejo-based New Home Co., which took the No. 6 spot in the list with 94 local sales, primarily at its Lambert Ranch development along Portola Avenue in Irvine.

The 50-acre project, one of OC’s highest-end developments in years, has brought in close to $100 million in sales since its opening last year.

Builders’ sales in this week’s list are ranked by homes closed, not just those under contract. New Home Co. likely would have placed a few spots higher in the list if homes under contract had been included.

Projects in Garden Grove, Brea and Huntington Beach helped place a few builders in the top 10 of this week’s list.

Irvine-based Brandywine Homes took the No. 9 spot in the list with 68 sales, many of them from its Century Village townhome project in Garden Grove.

The 53-unit development is effectively sold out now, despite construction that is still ongoing, officials said earlier this month.

The three-story townhomes at Century Village sold at a rate of about four homes per month, which is “a little faster than average—more like prerecession levels,” said Brandywine Vice President Dave Barisic.

Sales at Huntington Beach’s Pacific Shores project, located a few blocks from the ocean, helped vault Newport Beach-based Christopher Homes to the No. 8 spot in the list.

The 201-home Pacific Shores project saw 70 sales last year, according to Hanley Wood data. Christopher Homes bought the 23-acre development site from now-defunct builder John Laing Homes in mid-2010 for a reported $45 million.

Continued sales at Brea’s Blackstone development—the 800-acre project in the hills between Brea and Fullerton that’s expected to hold almost 360 homes—helped drive sales for that project’s two partners, Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. and Walnut-based Shea Homes.

Shea kept the No. 2 spot on this year’s list with 176 sales, a slight increase from year-ago levels.

Standard Pacific took the No. 4 spot in the list with 101 sales in OC last year. Along with Brea, it is currently selling homes in Irvine and Buena Park.


Download the 2013 OC's LARGEST HOMEBUILDERS list (pdf)

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