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Inland Empire’s Housing Market Shifts Toward Buyers

What was a sellers’ market that saw bidding wars catapulting offers above asking prices three months ago is shifting to a buyers’ market, real estate brokers said.

The Inland Empire has been a hot housing market during the pandemic. But in recent months, home sales have cooled off.

Oscar Tortola, a real estate broker, said homes in the metropolitan area are sitting longer on the market, causing the housing market to shift toward the buyer.

“The interest rates went up, and it priced out a lot of buyers out of the homes they were thinking of buying,” Tortola said. “The serious buyers who need to get into something right now are looking out there, and they are getting deals.”

Those deals can be found in new construction, according to some experts like Doreen Pottios with House X California LLC. She said newly-constructed homes are going up all over the Inland Empire and that it is a good deal for homebuyers.

“Just because it’s a new house, you get all the new features,” Pottios said, which includes high energy features, new windows, and heating and cooling systems.

But recently, housing giant Redfin painted a grim picture of some housing markets if the U.S. economy goes into recession.

Analysts believe the metro areas that saw the biggest migration of new homebuyers during the pandemic will also see the biggest price plunge during a recession.

Redfin lists Riverside as one of the cities most at risk of home value loss.

The housing market has been on a wild ride over the past two years, and if you’re not sure where things stand now, you’re not alone. Real estate agent Matt Templeton breaks down what to expect if you’re looking to buy or rent and how to get the best deal.

But Tortola doesn’t believe it would be as dramatic as what happened in 2008 when people who were not necessarily qualified to buy were buying homes.

“The Inland Empire lost about 50%, but things are much different now than they were back then,” Tortola said. “The market was being driven by loans that were zero down stated income. When 80% of homes were being bought with those types of loans, that’s what led to that situation. Everyone now qualifies for a loan.”

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