2018 New Home Construction Outlook is Positive
Across the United States, new home construction starts are at multi-year highs, with an expected 3% increase in 2018 according to Dodge Data and Analytics, a construction industry mainstay in forecasting and business planning. Local developers and real estate professionals are also feeling bullish on our local desert market and the promise it holds for 2018 and beyond. “The market looks favorable since people will have more disposable funds due to an improved economy, and lower taxes. It looks like the market is headed upward,” states Barti Vaidya, the developer of The Estates at Indian Wells, a hamlet within Indian Wells Country Club.
The popularity of the Coachella Valley has been surging for years, thanks to the Palm Springs renaissance, year-round marquee music and sports events, and the surrounding natural splendor of the region, all just a short trip from the Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County markets. Of course, many of our part-time residents and visitors flock to the Southern California desert from cooler climates each season to enjoy the mild winters and outdoor-oriented lifestyle.
With a shortage of new homes available in the Coachella Valley, especially when compared to existing residences, local real estate professionals are excited about new home communities and their impact on the local market. “The new home market is currently very favorable and in high demand. New product is still lacking in the market, especially Single-Family homes and Condominiums that are all on one level,” says REALTOR® and LUXE Director Neil Curry.
New homes are on the rise locally, with all major markets in the Coachella Valley, except for Palm Springs, combining for a 6.3% uptick in sales year-over-year, and a 12.4% increase in average sale price according to data from the MLS. Large master-planned communities are in the works in Palm Springs and Indio, bringing with them incredible visions that meet the needs of today’s (and tomorrow’s) homeowner. As the desert’s home inventory sees newer options coming out of the ground, there are some general patterns emerging in the new homes sector that are worth noting.
A “Less-is-More” Approach to Design
The Greater Palm Springs Area is known for its unique architectural offerings, from iconic Mid-Century Modern homes to desert contemporary and Mediterranean-inspired styles. “Buyers interested in homes from Palm Springs to Rancho Mirage tend to prefer design trends with modern or mid-century references, i.e., clerestory windows, angular rooflines, 8-10’ walls of glass, exposed beams, or specific elements such as a 60’s Malm fireplace,” states Curry. Curry and his NDC Homes team have become the go-to experts for several prominent local home builders and developers to spearhead the sales of their communities. “Buyers from Palm Desert to La Quinta still lean toward homes with a Mediterranean influence combined with California flair.”
NDC Homes currently works with the developers of a couple exciting new home projects in Palm Springs. 64@theRiv is a new community of 64 luxe condominiums featuring 2 floor plans and priced from the high $300,000s. The 1,500 SF and 1,200 SF floor plans will offer 9’ ceilings, clerestory windows, social kitchens, and more. Phase 1 of 64@theRiv will be released February 1st. NDC Homes is also working with Architect James Cioffi and developer Larry Hochanadel on Screen House I, the first of 3 planned homes inspired by the designs of pioneer modernists Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. These impressive, sleek homes are nestled against the mountains in the historic Palm Springs Tennis Club, with the first of the homes boasting 4BD/5BA spread over a well-conceived 3,521 SF floor plan. Highlights include 11-15’ ceilings, high-end finishes, and an expansive outdoor entertainer’s patio with 55’ infinity pool with spa, showcasing impressive views of the Coachella Valley. This first home is priced starting at $2,999,000.
Although the architectural influences vary from city to city, and even neighborhood to neighborhood, many new home builders are taking notes out of the sleek designs fabricated by celebrated Mid-Century Modern architects. “Buyers are attracted to the ‘less is more’ attitude when it comes to new home designs and features,” states Broker Associate and Executive LUXE Director Patrick Jordan of the Patrick-Stewart Properties team, completed by Executive LUXE Director Stewart Smith.
Patrick-Stewart Properties and their fellow Bennion Deville Homes Executive LUXE Director and REALTOR® Cass Graff-Radford are representing the builder of the Makena development in Rancho Mirage, a 10-home enclave boasting gorgeous homes with an average price point of $2.5 Million. The home designs at Makena draw influence from modern and desert contemporary disciplines, with soaring walls of glass, disappearing pocket doors, and open floor plans. Patrick-Stewart Properties is also working with the developer of the new Dream Residences in Palm Springs, which will have price points ranging from $1.125 to $3 Million.
Regardless of the architectural influence, Curry and Jordan both observe a widespread connection with today’s home designs. “Across the board, new home buyers prefer living spaces on one level that are open, spacious, and flow seamlessly between the indoor spaces and outdoor entertaining areas, such as covered lanais,” Curry notes.
The Role of Technology & Energy Efficiency
Many Bennion Deville Homes real estate professionals who specialize in representing new home builders and developers understand that today’s homebuyers are looking for several common features in a new home, regardless of the home’s aesthetic or architectural influences. “They want open floor plans integrating the latest in smart home technologies with energy-efficient features,” Jordan summarizes.
Adds LUXE Director and REALTOR® RoseAnne Foxx, “Gone are the days of 6,000-to 8,000-square-foot homes. Energy efficiency from windows, insulation, A/C units, water, and low-maintenance landscape features are most important. Homebuyers want sleek design, modern architecture, and light and bright spaces set in an open floor plan.” Foxx stresses the importance of energy efficiency to today’s new home buyer, who may be thinking about cooling a large floor plan during the summer. “New construction means a variety of energy efficient features are built into the home. Double-paned windows today are 20 times more efficient from both a window tint and noise reduction standard, even compared to what they were in 2002. Lighting is more efficient through the use of LEDs, and plumbing fixtures, water consumption, appliances, furnaces, and AC units combine for a reduced emissions footprint and lower energy draw.”
Foxx represents a couple of new home projects, including the 11-lot custom home enclave of Sterling Ridge in the Tony area of Tamarisk, Rancho Mirage, and a new custom, cutting edge contemporary home in The Reserve Club in Indian Wells. Sterling Ridge is one of the last new construction communities in Rancho Mirage, where new home inventory is scarce. The Foxx Company developed the land and to date has five custom homes under way or completed within the community, with a spec home for sale at 3 Sterling Ridge Drive. Pulling cues from desert contemporary styling with a modern edge, this home boasts luxurious finishes and the latest in energy efficiencies, surrounded by incredible mountain and valley views. The 4BD + office/5BA, 4,651 SF home is listed at $2,995,000. Two additional custom homes are planned to break ground in the community soon. In addition to the custom homes at Sterling Ridge, the Foxx Company is building a custom home in The Reserve Club, set to be completed this March. Located on the 11th hole with southern exposure and almost 360* panoramic mountain views, the 5,300 SF, 4BD home is priced at $5,060,650 and offered designer-furnished by Angela Wells Interior Design of Stick & Stones.
Outlook for the New Homes Market
The biggest challenge facing new home builders and developers in the new year, according to Vaidya, is “staying abreast of changing building codes, design concepts, market trends, and buyer preferences.” Vaidya’s The Estates at Indian Wells development, which is represented by Bennion Deville Homes REALTOR® Kathleen “Sunshine” O’Brien, offers brand new construction in the heart of Indian Wells. These exclusive homes echo the same general trends highlighted above, with contemporary modern design featuring high ceilings, flat roofs, large windows and sliding doors, high-end finishes, open entertaining spaces, and easy indoor/outdoor living to showcase the laid-back desert lifestyle. There are currently two homes available, priced at $1.379 Million and $1.5 Million, respectively.
Adds O’Brien, “I believe 2018 will show us that new housing developments are back in the game, with 55+ communities doing new builds, smaller boutique developments with 7 to 15 homes coming out of the ground, and of course new developments within existing country clubs, like The Estates at Indian Wells, emerging as well.”
Regardless of the city or price point, the same sentiment is echoed by each Bennion Deville Homes agent: 2018 is shaping up to be an incredible year for real estate in the Coachella Valley. “In general, the market appears to be on an upward trajectory and indicators point toward that upward trend for the next 12 months or so,” concludes Jordan.
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