housing on the upswing in South County
County has seen an explosive increase in affordable new homes
in recent years, but equally robust is the high-end market in
communities from bucolic Bonita to gated neighborhoods in EastLake.
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Bill Davidson, well known for luxury estate homes in upscale
North County communities, is impressed with today's soaring
South County housing scene.
is a bright spot in the county for the move-up and high-end
buyer," said Davidson, whose Del Mar-based Davidson Communities
currently is building 115 single-family homes at Acqua in EastLake
Del Mar-based Davidson Communities currently is building 115
single-family homes at Acqua in EastLake Vistas.
out each phase as it is released, Davidson's Acqua is geared
to the move-up market, with prices for the two-story homes starting
in the high $500,000s.
popularity of Acqua, which features the company's trademark
architectural styling and interior amenities, clearly indicates
a strong demand for well-heeled homes in the county's southern
to Alan Nevin, a veteran real estate analyst, the South County
has really taken a step up in the housing market with many of
the new home communities popping up east of Interstate 805 in
Chula Vista now priced at $400,000 and up. This is a dramatic
change from just five years ago, when most were in the mid-$200,000
to low-$300,000 range, he noted.
of the people buying half-million-dollar homes in South County
already live in the area and are tapping into their equity to
move into more upscale residences, noted Nevin, director of
economic research for San Diego-based MarketPoint Realty Advisors.
County is a real value," he said, especially when comparing
similar new homes in North County, which now average upwards
at EastLake, one of the first and largest communities in Chula
Vista, also are moving into this higher bracket. Once known
for its entry-level housing, the 3,200-acre master-planned community
is now offering production homes breaking the $600,000 barrier
and even some custom estate homes in the multimillion-dollar
Gates at The Woods by EastLake was the site of last summer's
Tour d'Elegance, an event organized by the San Diego Building
Industry Association to showcase homebuilding at its most opulent.
The 56,000-plus visitors that attended the event got a close-up
look at five custom homes, including one that was in escrow
for $3.5 million even before construction was completed.
tour drew attention to the luxury home market that is growing
stronger in South County, where multimillion-dollar homes have
not been built in as much abundance as in North County,"
noted builder Davidson.
South County development, Acqua at EastLake Vistas, caught the
eye of industry leaders, who recently recognized its excellence
with a Grand SAM award. Competing against new-home neighborhoods
throughout the county -- some priced over $2 million -- Acqua
won top honors for architecture, landscaping, interior design
and merchandising from the Sales & Marketing Council of
the Building Industry Association of San Diego County. It was
Davidson's 11th Grand SAM win.
from about 3,012 square feet to 3,638 square feet, homes at
Acqua offer a diverse palette of architecture, including classic
Spanish, Craftsman and contemporary Italian styling. There are
four different floor plans highlighted by extended courtyards
and deep covered porches and featuring four to five bedrooms,
3-1/2 to 4-1/2 baths and two-car, tandem or three-car garages.
Pricing starts in the high $500,000s.
neighborhood catering to the South County's burgeoning move-up
market is Windingwalk. Brookfield Homes San Diego Inc. has recently
started building Twilight there, offering 3,390- to 3,817-square-foot
homes on larger home sites and priced starting in the high $500,000.
to Steve Doyle, president of Brookfield Homes San Diego Inc.,
managing partner of the Brookfield Homes/Shea Homes partnership
for the 1,200-acre Windingwalk property in eastern Chula Vista,
there is a pent-up demand for high-end and even luxury housing
in South County.
is much confidence among builders and homebuyers that this area
of the county is ready for more housing on the higher end of
the spectrum," said Doyle.
homes ranging from the low $300,000s to the high $500,000s,
Windingwalk is reflective of the trend that South County now
can meet the demands of new homebuyers looking for higher-end
housing, said Doyle.