Monday, January 29, 2018 / by Sean Zanganeh
"Chris Haines is the president of Southern California for Pulte Homes, a home builder that focuses on what he calls the 'move up market.' Recently his company purchased 131 finished lots in the 4S Ranch planned community near Rancho Bernardo and plans to break ground on the project some time in 2011. Recently, Haines spent a few minutes talking about his company's plans and the state of the new home market in San Diego County. Here's what he had to say:
Q:Why is your company looking to build in the San Diego market?
A: We are trying to be very strategic in our land acquisitions because there is a limited availability of finished lots. We see the economy starting to recover here with companies beginning to invest, especially in the high-tech and biotech markets. Engineers are relocating here. It tells us the demand is there.
Q: You also mentioned that your company thinks there is an underserved move-up market in San Diego right now? Talk a little bit about that market. Who are they? Why can’t they be served by existing homes?
A: There's a certain segment of the market that only likes new. One of the key drivers is that they also like to be proximate to their work. We have a very clear idea of who are customer is. The targeted group is young families looking to move up. It (4S Ranch) falls within the Poway Unified School District. It's a very attractive feature.
Q:When do you plan to begin construction?
A: We're moving through the process right now so we can start sales and home building next year.
Q: What will the development be like?
A: As far as style goes, 4S, in our opinion, it's the best out there. It's a well thought-out master plan with great architectural appeal and great colors and style. Our architectural styles are compatible.
Q: Does this land purchase mean you think the new housing market is poised for a comeback?
A: It's hard for us to predict. We just had our first pretax profit in 15 quarters, but we think there is a long way to for the U.S. housing market. It's about job formation and job creation and much higher levels of consumer confidence.
Q: Are other home builders also beginning to make some land buys?
Everyone is in the same boat and they are also looking for A locations. (According to Pulte Homes, there were nine bidders for the 4S land.) Everyone is looking for finished lots so they can look to build and look to sell quickly.
Q: What is your forecast for new home development in San Diego in the short term?
A: We are focused on quality not quantity in rebuilding our business. It really comes down to understanding the local marketplace and consumer behavior. We feel pretty strong about the North County San Diego market."
Good news to hear from a local San Diego home builder. Look for great developments from Southern California for Pulte Homes and 4S Ranch in the very near future!
Article by Jennifer Davies, Staff Writer for the San Diego Union Tribune.