Newland Communities, a partner of the $160 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, reported that the pace of home sales at its three California master-planned communities continued to exceed expectations during the second quarter and the first half of 1999. The strong demand for housing throughout the state has fueled price increases of an average 3% to 8% since January. The communities developed by Newland have been financed with a $100 million allocation from CalPERS to invest in land for single-family homes in California. One project, Storke Ranch in Goleta, which opened late in 1998, sold out its first phase before the model homes were built. At Newlands 820-acre Paseo del Sol project in Temecula, 311 homes sold in the first half of the year, up 32% from the 234 homes sold in the last six months of 1998.