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BRIEFCASE

Real Estate

July 21, 1993|John O'Dell / Times staff writer

House Bargains: One reason new-home prices continue dropping is that some developers who still have money or good relations with their banks and other lenders are actively plumbing the market for deals on land being dumped at fire-sale prices by buyers with pressing cash demands.

Warmington Homes recently bought 64 finished lots in Dove Canyon from Marlborough Development and last weekend opened sales at prices 13% below anything else on the market in that gated community.

More than 250 people toured the models, and four sales contracts were written, a spokeswoman said.

The homes, on smallish 4,200-square-foot lots, start at a base price of $199,900 for an 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bathroom unit. They top out at a base of $239,900 for a 2,366-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath unit.

By contrast, the next-lowest base price in the seven projects selling homes at Dove Canyon is $229,900 for a 2,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home by D.T. Smith Co.--and there is only one left, according to Meyers Group, a Newport Beach consulting firm that tracks new-home sales and prices in Southern California.

A Warmington spokeswoman said the company's new development marks the first time detached home prices in Dove Canyon have fallen below $200,000--though only four of the $199,000 models are in the first phase and any of them with a view are subject to premiums that can add as much as $18,000 to the price.

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