Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Growth Continues

As our area continues to grow with families attracted to the quality of life in the valley and foothills, the need for more water and roads also grows.

An excerpt.

New homes on the horizon
Despite slow market, outside builders have big plans for region.
By Jim Wasserman - Bee Staff WriterPublished 12:00 am PST Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It might seem the worst time to start building houses in the Sacramento region with prices dropping and so many homes for sale.

But a pair of deep-pocketed newcomers -- divisions of a U.S. timber products giant and a major Japanese conglomerate -- are positioning themselves to make sizeable new splashes in the region's home building market.

Analysts, citing the region's growth forecasts, say more are likely to show up, continuing a trend that has seen waning market share for locally owned builders and increasing dominance by publicly traded home builders and subsidiaries of large corporations.

"With every down there's an up," said David Ragland, vice president for community development of Los Angeles-based Pardee Homes, which plans 4,000 new homes in the coming years in Natomas, Rancho Cordova and north Stockton. "Personally, I would like to see the upside last a little bit longer. But there are opportunities in a down market as well."

Also new to the local market is Irvine-based MBK Homes, which plans to start constructing the first of its planned 600 homes in the region within weeks in Citrus Heights. The 66-home Camden Place is scheduled to open next spring south of Greenback Lane off Auburn Boulevard.

Pardee is making its first Northern California building venture in metropolitan Sacramento after Livermore voters rejected its plans a year ago to build nearly 2,500 homes in the East Bay city. Ragland said the plan is to start the first of 900 houses in Natomas next year, bring the first of 2,100 houses in north Stockton onto the market in 2008 and begin building 1,100 houses in Rancho Cordova in 2009.

"We have almost 4,000 lots and over $100 million invested and committed in Northern California markets as we speak," Ragland said.