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Peter Lauener

Regional President, Southwest Region, Intracorp Companies • intracorpcompanies.com

building industry forecastsPublished: December 01, 2010

Peter Lauener
In your opinion, what is the current state of the industry?
In my estimation, we are at the bottom. I don’t anticipate any more huge declines in value, but we’ll probably bounce along the bottom for a while. Historically, home buying is aided by solid employment numbers, positive consumer confidence and a market that has balance. Obviously, our country is working its way through those issues right now, which takes time. Until then, homebuyers will take longer to save up their down payments and exert greater effort in qualifying for mortgage loans.
   
Homebuilding overall is starting to see pockets of success – especially in supply constraint areas. Numbers also indicate a strong response from the sub-ethnic market homebuyers, whose savings or investments were generated in economies outside of the U.S.
   
The next year will set the stage for the industry. I believe the timing is right to start acquiring land and building a pipeline for lots in the coming years.

What is the status of your company and where is it headed?
Intracorp’s core competency over the past two decades has been urban development – primarily in high-rise, mid-rise, multi-family and town homes. Like most businesses in this economy, we’ve undertaken proactive measures to remain healthy, which included consolidating our three divisions – San Diego, California and Hawaii – into our Orange County office. 
   
We have secured fee-work from financial institutions seeking to reposition and execute their assets. Since we have no legacy issues to encumber our abilities, we’re able to move quickly and secure key opportunities.

One of our newest projects is a community in the Tierrasanta area of San Diego, with 37 single-family detached homes on small lots. Tierrasanta’s strong demographics along with low foreclosures and no new product in 20 years justified moving forward.
   
Our focus is and always has been to play to our strengths and expertise and respond to the market. We are currently focused on building urban “on grade” attached and detached entry-level communities in urban markets. That’s where you’ll continue to find us.

What are the key factors to helping your company or the industry rebound in the next 12 to 24 months?
For the industry, unemployment numbers need to come down, consumer confidence needs to go up and foreclosures must be absorbed. On the finance front, banks need to provide construction loans and provide qualified buyers with home mortgages.
   
For our company, we’re confident in a market turnaround and our established development expertise. We’re always looking for opportunities in good, solid submarkets with strong demographics.

THE HOMEBUILDING EXPERTS: