Q&A with Robert Freed – Review 2008 Preview 2009

Silicon Valley Business Journal, Review 2008 Preview 2009

President and CEO, SummerHill Homes, Palo Alto

Freed is a veteran home builder, having worked at KB Home for 14 years, the final years as president of the Northern California division. He also served as chief financial officer for Davidon Homes and Blawkhawk Corp.Q&A: What do you see looking ahead into 2009?

A: It’s fair to say this is a residential real estate depression on an order of magnitude that even those of us in the business for 30-plus years have not experienced. I think it is fundamentally changing what home building will look like in the future. There will be far fewer home builders in the future.

In 2009, SummerHill will stay focused on urban infill on the peninsula, in Santa Clara County and up the eastern border into Alameda County. We are under contract and processing entitlements for 1,350 homes on Communications Hill in San Jose.

We think SummerHill is well positioned to prosper financially.

I do think that in terms of home values in the Bay Area, if we’re not at the bottom, we’re very near. I expect 2009 to be a transition year. By the end of the year, we should be returning to some level of stability.