Well, it's official.
The California Building Industry Assn., in a survey of home builders across the state, has found that 1991 was a "trying year" for the industry.
In Orange County, the past year was a bit more than trying for the residential development industry.
Still, a few builders did well during the year.
A recent market survey by the Meyers Group found that the best-selling new home projects in Orange County through the first nine months of 1991 had several things in common:
* All were stucco with tile roofs.
* Most were in South Orange County.
* Most were in large, planned communities.
* Most of the detached homes were built by the same companies.
* All of the attached homes were priced under $200,000 and more than half of the detached homes were offered for less than $300,000.
Ironically, considering that high pries have been blamed for a lot of the area's housing woes, the two best-selling detached projects were also the highest priced.
In the No. 1 slot was Cypress Classics, in Cypress, built by the Fieldstone Group of Companies' Cypress Homes unit. A total of 85 homes were sold in the first nine months, at prices ranging from $342,990 to $403,990.
Cypress Homes also built the second-fastest-selling project, called the Cypress Collection, adjacent to Cypress Classics. By the end of September, 83 of those homes had been sold, at prices ranging from $399,990 to $491,990.
In third place in the detached home category was Kaufman & Broad Homes' California Reflections project in Aliso Viejo, where 62 homes priced from $202,990 to $232,990 were sold through Sept. 30.
Newport Beach-based Fieldstone Co., under its own name, also accounted for the fourth- and fifth-place projects: Valle Vista in Rancho Santa Margarita, where 62 homes sold at prices of $220,990 to $242,990, and Fieldstone Collection in Laguna Niguel, where buyers closed escrow on 57 units priced from $244,990 to $282,990.
In the attached or condo category, the five best sellers were:
1. Tijeras Creek Villas, by the San Juan Group, located in Rancho Santa Margarita. A total of 115 units were sold at prices ranging from $106,490 to $142,490. The builder is headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita.
2. Seagate Colony, by Aliso Viejo-based Kathryn G. Thompson Development Co., in Aliso Viejo. Buyers gobbled up 113 units priced from $106,900 to $163,900.
3. Los Portillos in Rancho Santa Margarita, by Newport Beach-based Shawntana Co., 88 units sold at prices of $103,990 to $131,990.
4. The Villas in Aliso Viejo, by Akins Development Co. of Irvine, 70 units sold at prices from $151,900 to $191,900.
5. Montecido in Trabuco Canyon, by the Baldwin Co. in Newport Beach, 66 units sold at prices of $132,900 to $161,900.