Here's an indication of increased housing demand: A total of 70 homes worth $45 million were sold in advance of the formal opening of two Irvine Co. communities. That number could top 100 in another week or so. Prices range from $300,000 for a town homes to $900,000 for single-family houses. What's also interesting is that the Irvine Co. has been bankrolling construction of the new homes (builders get paid a fee for each home delivered). From OC Register:
When an interest list reached 10,000 potential buyers last fall, the Irvine Co. starting asking those prospects who'd wish to pre-qualify to buy one of those homes. That list has grown to 700. Among the earliest of these eager shoppers who had qualified financing, the Irvine Co. offered pre-sale opportunities for these new communities' homes -- and 70 had signed contracts as of Saturday morning.
We'll see whether such stepped-up demand provides a motivator for local homebuilders in 2010.