A Turning Market

When a market is undergoing change, there is a time where the changes starts happening before we fully recognize that they are happening. The past 6 months have been full of change. We are the first to say we are astonished by the activity levels that we’ve seen and continue to see with our “Mrs. Hill” live chat service seeing significant increase in activity since the start of the year as well as seeing more and more prospective homebuyers at each of our new home communities.

Over the summer, we talked about several camp-outs at our Parkwood community in San Jose, which has now sold out. Then we heard of other homebuilders having similar levels of activity at their communities.  We also sold out at our Echelon and Talavera communities.

Compelling value shifted the balance for buyers to want to buy their home today instead of waiting and seeing if they will or won’t or may buy their new home.

Terminology that hadn’t been used in over a year started making a come back: temporarily sold out, next sales release, priority list, and sold out.    Here’s how we define some of these key terms:

Temporarily sold out – The plan is sold out today, but we will have more of that plan available in the future.

Next sales release – A number of homes will be released for sale on the same day.

Priority list – Prospective homeowners register their interest and get pre-qualified for first choice in the next sales release.

Sold Out – We’re sorry but their simply are no more homes of this plan or this community available for sale by us.

The tax credits certainly helped although we are in the Bay Area where income levels are much higher than average incomes in the rest of the United States.  This made it hard for some homebuyers to qualify for the tax credits.

Our Park Station community, which opened for pre-sale over 2 years ago, is almost sold out.  With just one unit left (yes, we sold one unit since last week), Park Station will be sold out soon.  The last unit is part of the South San Francisco City Program to help new homeowners with downpayment.

We opened two new communities this past year in prime locations – Palo Alto and Mountain View.  Prime locations come at a premium, which can be challenging in a turning market, as some buyers may be looking to bargain for their new home.  With intrinsic value from good schools, desirable location, and quintessential marks of a place to call home, the homes at Satake Estates and Redwood Gate have attracted many new homeowners who want this home at these prime locations.

Satake Estates is already over 40% sold out.  This means there are only 16 more chances to own at this unique community.

Redwood Gate has already sold over 37% of the homes available.  And, we have only two homes available today until the next release.

Rosewood sold out of the Towns earlier this year and with the latest release of the last Cottages, the Cottages will soon be sold out too.   Rosewood has already sold over 82% of the homes.  The Gables will soon be your only chance to live in this Fremont community.

All of this sales success has brought us to an interesting dilemma, we have only 5 communities that will be open and selling this year.  With a number of cutbacks within our company to account for these significant changes, we’ve said good bye to a number of familiar faces.  Change brings uncertainty and new beginnings.

A number of prospective homebuyers have contacted us recently looking for homes in communities that have recently sold out or looking for where our our next communities will be located.  We wish we had better answers for you as to which cities will be home to our future communities.

So now the question is what’s next?  We are actively looking for new projects thanks to the work of SummerHill Land.  We are very hopeful to have a few upcoming communities soon as we want to continue to build new homes for our neighbors and friends.  As soon as we have more information on our next community, you can be assured that we will share it with you.

Where would you like to see us build?