KB Home is making another bet on Santa Clarita.
The big Los Angeles-based homebuilder has bought 278 lots in two subdivisions in the Plum Canyon area of the north Los Angeles County city, with plans to start construction by early summer.
KB already has several developments in the area, and the president of its Southern California division said he sees the area as primed for more growth.
“We’re kind of betting the future is good for Santa Clarita,” said Steve Ruffner, pointing to a growing job base and relatively easy commutes to the San Fernando Valley or central Los Angeles. “We’ve been building there for a long time, and we wanted to stay active in the area.”
KB is buying the neighborhoods -- Canyon Heights and Canyon Crest -- from Toll Brothers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The subdivisions are partially finished, with streets in place, so construction can start immediately. Ruffner said he hopes to have model homes open by fall, with houses starting in the high $500,000s and state-of-the-art energy-efficiency features that KB says will help drive down electricity costs and water usage.
Homebuilding is picking up in Southern California after several slow years. Building permits were up 44% in the Los Angeles metro area in 2013, and have continued to climb this spring.
Most of the new activity has been in multi-family housing, and relatively few single-family houses are being built. But KB sees strong demand in certain submarkets and is investing there, Ruffner said.
“Plum Canyon is the latest example of our strategy to grow our business in Southern California with new communities in the prime locations favored by today’s homebuyers,” he said.