Inland Empire, Calif., housing market is bubbly againPosted: November 1, 2009
In the Inland Empire — Ground Zero of the subprime crisis — housing prices appear to have hit bottom:
Low prices and interest rates and the federal tax credit have prompted Shane Valdez, a 37-year-old truck driver who rents a home in Anaheim Hills, to spend six months struggling to buy his first house. He said he is looking in Riverside, Corona and Lake Elsinore. He has made offers on 37 houses so far, he said, but got beaten by other buyers, including investors paying all cash.
Valdez said he doesn’t believe home prices will fall anytime soon. His worry is that he will not buy before home prices again rise above his reach.
“I am offering above list on just about everything and I keep getting outbid,” he said. “I don’t think prices are going down.”
Inland economist John Husing would agree on that point.
Even with a soft economy, the unprecedented affordability of Inland homes will continue to drive buyer demand and absorb any increase in foreclosures, Husing said. Not only can 68 percent of Inland households now afford to buy half of the homes being sold, he said, but the region is even more affordable for coastal residents who have traditionally moved inland to get more house for their money.