543 new homes in Lake Forest: The builder’s story


Home being built by LandSea Homes in their IronRidge development in Lake Forest on Thursday, October 26, 2017. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)



To John Ho’s thinking, more builders could be a solution to the housing shortage.

Meet the chief of Landsea Homes, making its first mark in local homebuilding in the rugged foothills of Lake Forest. The 543-home IronRidge community — Landsea’s first in Southern California — will offer everything from townhomes priced in the $500,000s to traditional, large single-family homes with mountain or scrub brush views costing upwards of $1.4 million.

Ho thinks the homebuilding industry, dominated by huge, national operators, could use some fresh blood, not to mention constant new sources of cash. And he says Landsea Homes, the Irvine-based U.S. operations of Chinese builder Landsea Group, sees plenty of potential on this side of the Pacific, particularly in California.

“The economic engine of California is irresistible,” Ho says. “There should be more players here. It’s a market that has an opportunity to grow with more entrants with more capital.”

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