Tag Archive: Adam McAbee

  1. Density Meets Livability in San Diego’s South County

    Around the country, the most expensive housing markets are always in need of attainably-priced housing, but lower prices can sometimes translate into lower quality—not in San Diego’s South County. Our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee recently visited a number of actively selling new home communities in this submarket to understand how local builders are matching demand for new housing with the need for affordability, and, more importantly, how they are creating great places to live.

    The video above illustrates what he learned while visiting a total of seven product lines by three builders, all of which opened in 2016, are priced under the county’s FHA loan limit, and are selling well.  The product lines are generally dense (particularly by suburban standards), but they are also high quality with creative, livable floorplans and more “wow” than one might expect given the price point. The projects visited include Sea Glass and Blu Strand by Shea Homes, Luna and Azul by Pardee Homes, and Evo, Trio and Metro by Meridian Communities.

    Some of the key takeaways include:

    • Density connects the dots between new construction and attainable pricing.
    • Density can work in suburbia.
    • Private elevators help three-story townhomes live like single-level homes (in this case they are included with the floorplan as part of the base price).
    • Contemporary design is at the forefront.
    • Remember that home buying is often an emotional experience, so make it fun.

    Contact us to discuss how we can help with your new home development.

    Adam McAbee, Vice President – Advisory San Diego
    EMAIL ADAM | ADAM’S PROFILE 

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  2. Millions Mean Magic in Southern California

    As crazy as it may sound, making your million-dollar home community stand out among the competition can be more difficult than it would seem – particularly in a market like Orange County, California, where the median new single family home price is over $1.1 million.  How do you offer more than just a nice house?  And what if everyone offers great views – how do you differentiate?  Our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee went in search of some of Southern California’s greatest new housing communities in this price range from 2016, and what he found was eye-opening.

    As seen in the video above, some of the most interesting projects we found include The Summit by Richmond American in San Marcos, Coral Canyon and Coral Crest by The New Home Company in Newport Beach and a surprising standout, The Oaks Farms by Davidson Communities in San Juan Capistrano.  All opened for sale less than 10 months ago and offer large single family homes on relatively large lots (by California standards, anyway), with starting prices that range from $1.2 to nearly $7 million.

    Some of the key takeaways include:

    • Indoor/outdoor living is not new, but some of these projects took that concept to a whole new level, even making it difficult to determine where the “inside” ends and the “outside” begins.
    • Everyone knows that golf or ocean views can command premiums, but what about an equestrian center?  Davidson Communities is achieving notable premiums for these views today.
    • There seemed to be a particular focus on interesting bathtubs this year.

    Contact us to discuss how we can help with your new home development.

    Adam McAbee, Vice President – Advisory San Diego
    EMAIL ADAM | ADAM’S PROFILE 

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  3. Designing From The Inside Out

    It was while doing fieldwork for Meyers Research that Adam McAbee noticed that inward-focused communities are a trend. McAbee soon discovered other infill projects that had this inward focus, sometimes compensating for a lack of vibrant surroundings by putting the emphasis on interior amenities.

    View the Article Here

  4. New Meyers Video Shows How 2015 Brought the Wow

    There are a number of new home projects that opened around Southern California in 2015 that highlight the latest and greatest in product design, marketing techniques and extra features. In fact, some may even say these projects “brought the wow”. Meyers Research spends all year analyzing trends and focusing on what makes the housing market tick. To take a break from this often very focused work and spread some holiday cheer, we sent our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee out to scour the market to find great examples of “next generation” product. The video above highlights what he found at 10 such projects, which ranged from high-density detached product priced in the $600,000s (relatively affordable for this area) to large estate-sized homes priced in the $2 to $3 million range (before options/upgrades, premiums and landscaping) to resort-oriented townhomes priced over $3 million.

    Here are some of the interesting elements he found:
    • Wine Rooms – they’re baaaack. Wine rooms were popular during the peak a decade ago, but they fell by the wayside during the downturn.  They are now prevalent features of the main living/dining areas in many upscale projects.
    • Spa Bathrooms – who needs to spend the day at the spa, when you can luxuriate in your own bathroom? Showers are quickly becoming the size of large closets, and bathroom “suites” can even include an outdoor “sleeping porch” – see the Donatello floorplan at CalAtlantic’s Estates at Del Sur in San Diego.
    • Huge Kitchen Islands – not to be confused with elevated dance floors, kitchen islands have become enormous, providing not only plenty of cooking space, but practically enough seating area for a Thanksgiving dinner.
    • Countless Living Rooms – want to have a seat in the living room? Sure! Which one? We found examples of informal living rooms opening up to outdoor patio living rooms that connect to backyard living rooms, providing enough seating to seemingly host a U.N. delegation.
    • Super Laundry Rooms – tired of filling your washing machine with countless loads of laundry in a never-ending cycle (pun intended)? Instead, opt for a “super laundry room” that includes two washers, two dryers, a large refrigerator, lots of counter and cabinet space and even a television.
    • Multi-Generational “Apartments” – gone are the days of the “granny flat”. Instead, see the optional second-floor guest space in Residence 1 of The New Home Company’s Oliva project in San Juan Capistrano. It includes a full kitchen, separate living room, an outdoor deck and a large bathroom.
    • Pool Cabanas – why run through the house soaking wet when you can stop by your own private pool cabana, which can vary to include a living room and barbeque area (see Toll Brother’s Marbella at Hidden Canyon project in Irvine), a game room or a full bedroom with bathroom and living area.
    • Roof Decks – density does not have to come at the cost of outdoor space. Trellis by Warmington in the Rancho Mission Viejo master plan offers optional roof decks on their Plan 3, providing added outdoor living space on otherwise smaller single family lots.
    • Private Elevators – how do you offer multi-story product to a buyer that is older and may not appreciate stairs? Offer private elevators within the units, such as the Grand Monarch by William Lyon in Dana Point.
    • Dog Rooms – Fido is as much part of the family as you are, just ask the estimated 50 million dog-owning households in the United States. Those that agree may find a dedicated “doggy shower” and built-in pet bed an attractive option.
    • Light, Light and More Light – the use of natural light is a trend that most builders strive for. Several in the video above are successful by blanketing walls with windows, including collapsible walls – even along the front of the house (see the Cavalli and Salvatori floorplans at Kingston by Cal Atlantic in San Diego).

    Collectively, all of these themes and ideas can be implemented in a single project – particularly one that is priced above $3 million. Several of the elements, such as the use of natural light and large kitchen islands, can be used in nearly any market at a variety of price points. As we look forward to 2016 and beyond, we are excited to learn what the coming year will teach us in terms of new home product.

    Give us a call to discuss how you can use all of these features as inspiration to add wow to your new home community.

  5. Find Treasure In Tahoe, If You Can

    Strong demand from drive-to markets such as the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento and high barriers to entry are keeping the level of new housing supply to a minimum in Lake Tahoe. Our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee has been very active in the Lake Tahoe market lately, helping our clients establish value in an area with relatively few new home projects and a lot of diversity.

    For perspective, the greater Lake Tahoe market is divided between two states and five counties and is represented in at least three different MLS systems, making its navigation relatively challenging.  In addition, the Tahoe Basin’s governing body from a planning perspective (the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, or TRPA) severely limits the number of new residential units that can be built in the area in a given year, and those units are then divided among these states and counties.  What this translates to is an extremely challenging environment in which to gain entitlements.

    A few projects that have entitlements and are likely to enter the market in near term include:

    • Tahoe Beach Club – a 143-unit condominium development located just north of the Edgewood golf course in Stateline, Nevada, and the only new lake-front product to be offered in this market in decades.
    • Clear Creek Tahoe – a private golf course and custom lot development located around what Golfweek calls one of the Top 100 Modern Golf Courses of all time.  It is also located on the desirable Nevada side of the lake, between Glenbrook and Carson City, on the south side of Highway 50.
    • Chateau at The Village – 30 condominiums (in phase one) located directly across from the Heavenly Village mixed use center and chair lift, just on the California side of the state line in South Lake Tahoe.
    • Stellar Residences – 16 ski-in/ski-out residential units (six single family and 10 duplex) along the slopes of Northstar that were designed by the same firm that is responsible for designing Apple stores worldwide.

    Aside from these projects and the rock-star Martis Camp (which is approaching sellout) and neighboring Schaffer’s Mill, the only major source of remaining new supply is unentitled, higher-density, long-term development around the California-side ski resorts (Squaw Valley, Homewood, Alpine Meadows, Northstar, etc.).  The graph below illustrates the very low level of new home sales in Lake Tahoe in a given year (and the upward trend in pricing).

    When coupled with elements such as the recently announced direct flights between New York and the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the $150 million in recent improvements and renovations added in South Lake Tahoe, the favorable tax structure on the Nevada side of the Lake, and the fact that Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful lakes on the planet implies that demand will exceed supply over the long term.

    Contact us to discuss how we can help in your challenging market.

    EMAIL ADAM | ADAM’S PROFILE
    Adam McAbee, Vice President of Advisory San Diego

    SEE ALL RECENT BLOG POSTS

    Median Price Graph

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    New vs. Resale Graph

  6. New Meyers Video Shows How To Add Value By Orienting Your Project Inward

    Over the past year, our consultants have noticed how builders and developers are designing master plans, apartment projects, resort subdivisions and/or single family homes that focus inward, rather than on the relationship with their surrounding land uses. This is sometimes a function of “less than desirable” surroundings, but more often than not it is a choice that developers made to add value to their project by creating a “community within a community”.

    An example of this is Sofia Lofts by Nakhshab Development & Design in the Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego. This 16-unit rental apartment project was designed for interaction between its residents by orienting the homes around a central courtyard with BBQ grill, lounge area and even a retractable screen for showing movies. Even the product itself was designed to attract a mix of renter profiles, ranging from smaller studios to larger two-story units for families, with a vision for “aging in place” in spite of the small project size. Another example is the Grow master plan on Bainbridge Island outside of Seattle. It offers a mix of sustainable for-sale and rental attached and detached homes that orient to one of three cores – The Village (single family and townhomes “amidst shared gardens and inviting green spaces”), The Grove (townhomes and flats set “around a quiet woodland and orchard of native trees and ‘edible landscaping’”) and The Park (townhomes, flats and single family homes around “The Park”).

    Our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee filmed the video shown here, which provides another two examples – one is the resort-oriented Cottages at KaMilo on the Big Island of Hawaii by Brookfield Homes, and the other is the semi-custom single family neighborhood Mainhouse in Encinitas, California by City Ventures. All of the projects discussed here are great examples of how a project can be successfully designed to look within.

    Some of the key insights learned include:

    • Builders and developers can add value by orienting product inward instead of outward.
    • This type of design can work well when a site’s surroundings are a challenge.
    • This orientation can work with most residential product types.
    • Interaction between the residents of the community is the primary goal.
    • This type of land planning can diversify product of similar density.

    Contact us to discuss how we can help you with your housing development.

    Adam McAbee, Vice President of Advisory San Diego
    EMAIL ADAM | ADAM’S PROFILE

    SEE ALL RECENT BLOG POSTS

  7. Vacation Home Sales Smash Record In 2014

    Just when we thought the vacation housing market couldn’t get any stronger, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that vacation home sales in the United States reached an all-time high of over 1.1 million homes sold in 2014. This marks a 57% increase over the 2013 total, which was also a major improvement over the prior year. What is perhaps even more shocking is that it also represents a 6% increase over the prior peak of 1,067,000 vacation home sales in 2006. While the median home price declined somewhat in 2014, it has effectively hovered in the $150,000 range since 2008. This massive jump in overall sales activity was fueled by strong consumer confidence and is being reflected in low inventory levels across many areas.

    Our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee, who regularly analyzes the resort market in the United States and internationally, shares five examples of the vacation/resort market’s resurgence:

    • Martis Camp, by DMB Associates in Truckee, California, sold 80 developer-owned custom lots in 2014 at an average price of approximately $1.1 million.
    • Discovery Land Company launched its Makena Golf and Beach Club on Maui and is actively working on a new development on the north shore of Kauai – both of which will command top-of-the-market premiums
    • Camana Bay, a walkable, mixed-use master planned community in the Cayman Islands is preparing to introduce its next phase of residential product to the market.
    • Stein Eriksen Residences, a ski-in/ski-out neighborhood in the Deer Valley area of Park City, Utah opened in late 2013 and has put under contract 29 condos at an average price of $3.9 million and eight single family homes at an average price of $7.1 million.
    • Tres Santos, a beach-, farm- and hillside-oriented master planned community in the Todos Santos area of Baja California Sur, Mexico released several of its residential product lines, and is slated to become one of the most prominent master plans in the region.

    All of these projects are good examples of how developers around North America are betting that the vacation housing market is back. And if our recent involvement in this sector is any indication of market strength, then 2015 will likely prove to be another outstanding year.

    Contact us to discuss how we can help you with your vacation home development in the United States or abroad.

    Adam McAbee, Vice President of Advisory San Diego
    EMAIL ADAM | ADAM’S PROFILE

    SEE ALL RECENT BLOG POSTS

     2015 NAR Vaction Home Sales

    Consumer Confidence

  8. New Meyers Video Shows How New San Diego Projects Bring the Outdoors In

    As 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to share some of the most interesting product examples that we visited this year in San Diego. While the rest of the country battles through rain, sleet and snow, San Diego County afternoons are averaging about 70 degrees and only dipping down into the 50’s (gasp!) at night.

    Our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee visited four new home communities around northern San Diego County in mid-December, all of which do an excellent job of bringing in natural light and making a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor space. Those projects include The Sentinels by Brookfield Homes and Marston by Standard Pacific in the master planned community of Del SurSanctuary by Richmond American in San Elijo Hills and the Beach House at Coral Cove by Shea Homes. As we anticipate the arrival of the next wave of exciting product that will open in 2015, these projects did an excellent job of creating “wow” across a spectrum of lot sizes and were some of our top local pics for the year.

    Some of the key insights learned include:

    • Meeting places – the kitchen, the living room, the back yard or all of the above – should be a central focus of floorplan design.
    • Production housing can provide flexibility and a sense of customization by offering variations on an otherwise standard set of floorplans.
    • Collapsible walls are a critical component of “next generation” product in warmer climates.
    • Density does not necessarily translate into smaller homes or a lack of functional outdoor space

    Adam McAbee, Vice President of Advisory San Diego
    EMAIL ADAM | ADAM’S PROFILE

    SEE ALL RECENT BLOG POSTS

  9. New Meyers Video Shows How Community Farms Are A Welcomed Addition To Vacation Housing

    While doing research on the vacation housing market in Hawaii and Mexico, our Vice President of Advisory Adam McAbee recently toured a selection of new vacation home options that include community farms as an integral part of their overall amenity offering (see video above). Although golf courses, swimming pools and clubhouses are often part of the mix, it is frequently becoming the community farm that helps bring out the “wow” in the neighborhood and convert shoppers to owners. Such is the case with Kukui’ula on the island of Kauai, where their tucked-away farm is a favorite since it goes beyond the expected beach club environment and underscores the “organic feel” of the island.

    Kohanaiki on the Big Island of Hawaii has had such interest from their current farm that they are building a larger, terraced farm that is reminiscent of a Hawaiian tarot patch.  Other projects, such as the Culinary Cottages in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico, makes the farm the focus of all activity. The development’s 10 residences are situated on the grounds of the wildly popular Flora Farms, home of Flora’s Field Kitchen, which attracts visitors from around the world who want to experience farm to table dining in an upscale but completely comfortable setting. Belle Mont Farm on the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean is another example that combines a resort hotel and residential ownership with a working farm. Collectively, these projects are great examples of the growing demand for farming while on vacation – and the “digital detoxing” that it provides.

    Some of the key insights learned include:

    • Community farms can help drive sales at resort housing communities
    • Community farms help foster connections that tie people to a place
    • On-site restaurants that harvest from the community farm have an added intangible benefit
    • Future projects should plan a farming element as one of the primary amenities from the beginning

    Adam McAbee, Vice President of Advisory San Diego
    EMAIL ADAM | ADAM’S PROFILE

    SEE ALL RECENT BLOG POSTS

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