The recession added 875,000 more U.S. households to the ranks of renters, the website Trulia found. Developers have been adjusting: Construction of multifamily units is now at its highest rate in 25 years, while single-family home construction has barely reached pre-recession levels, the New York Times reported. Developers like the DSF Group are building rentals in suburbs near mass-transit hubs, where cheaper land affords the opportunity to offer more luxurious amenities. One report found apartment construction in some markets, including Austin, Texas, Washington, D.C., and San Jose, California, excedes pre-recession peaks; DSF has buildings going up outside New York, Boston, and Washington, in Vienna, Virginia. The complexes feature outdoor fire pits, high-tech entertainment systems, and even a residents-only bowling alley.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of adding 100,000 new homes by 2021, a massive effort to relieve one of the country’s worst housing crunches. According to the California Finance Department, LA has averaged a net gain of just 5,500 units a year since 1991, the Los Angeles Times reported. To reach 100,000 in seven years, the city will need a variety of strategies, including revising the city’s permitting process (a project that is already underway) to build smaller homes in existing backyards. Garcetti set a benchmark that 30 percent of units built on land owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority be affordable housing. The mayor also said that he would work with the state legislature to restore housing funding to offset the cost of the affordable-housing allocation.
A venture led by developer Trumark Homes is paying roughly $1.1 million per acre for a ranch about 35 miles outside of San Francisco, a price that represents a 30 percent increase in land prices in the area since 2010, according to Meyers Research. Trumark, in partnership with Isles Ranch Partners and Castlelake LP, will pay around $200 million for the 184-acre Wallis Ranch near Dublin, California, the Wall Street Journal reported. The price reflects the scarcity of developable residential lots in the area. Trumark will develop the land into 806 lots, which it will then market to homebuilders. The company expects prices for the homes built there to range from $700,000 for townhomes to $1.5 million and more for larger, detached dwellings. Zelman & Associates, a housing research firm, found in its quarterly survey that land prices across the country rose by an average of 13 percent in the third quarter, slowing modestly from a jump of 14 percent in the second quarter and 17 percent in the first. The Journal reported expectations that land price increases will slow further over the next year.
Investors in The Grand Alps Resort DFW plan to build a $398 million, 1,900-foot-long indoor ski slope on 58 acres in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie by 2018. The investment group has raised $100 million through the State Department’s EB-5 program, through which qualified investors can receive visas for investing in projects that create jobs in the U.S. The project received $68 million from private-equity investors and another $35 million from Grand Alps itself, which is also building indoor ski resorts in Brazil, Malaysia, and China.
Tom Cruise listed his 10,000 square-foot home for $59 million. The 298-acre gated estate also holds a 1,600 square-foot guest house and private trail system. The listing says the actor spent several years designing and building the stone and cedar house.
Terry Bradshaw put his 740-acre ranch, where he raises horses, cattle and pigs, on the market for $10.8 million. The NFL Hall of Famer’s 8,600 square-foot house has a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio with a kitchen, bar, fire pit, and TV for watching football. The ranch also has a two-story doghouse with its own pool.
Stinson Beach, California
Jerry Garcia’s 1.1-acre compound at the base of the Willow Camp trail, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, was listed for just under $4 million. “San Souci” has three buildings, including a one-bathroom, 2,652 square-foot studio where Garcia recorded while living there in the 1970s.