But positive indicators here in Orange County suggest that we should
stop staring in the rear-view mirror, that the road ahead is finally
widening for true recovery and opportunity as the summer of 2012
unfolds. Bulldozers are clearing brush and leveling land for
construction on four major master-planned developments across the
county, with the promise of several thousand new homes coming to market
in the next 12 to 16 months.
Luxury builder Toll Bros., Inc. is the latest developer to bank on Orange County as a rebounding market, by partnering with Shea Homes to construct more than 2,000 homes and apartments in the Baker Ranch
development in Lake Forest. The significance here is that Toll Bros. is
going after the higher-end buyer. Elsewhere, realtors are reporting
that resale homes between $400,000 and $800,000 are attracting multiple
offers, a trend similar to a decade ago. Many of the offers include
large cash down payments from highly educated immigrants.
the love is spreading across multiple industry sectors. Hotels,
restaurants and entertainment venues are reporting the strongest numbers
in five years. Good luck getting a room at sold-out coastal resorts,
and Disneyland broke attendance records for the first 10 days of newly remodeled California Adventure and its spectacular Cars Land.
There’s even a silver lining and promise of better days ahead, with the
sale of the century-old Orange County Register, the voice of record for
the county for more than 70 years.