Existing home sales nationwide took a worse than expected slide in July – down 27.2 percent over the previous month – but Southwest Riverside’s residential real estate market continues to be stable, according to Gene Wunderlich, government affairs director for Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors.
“We’re really not following the national trend,” Wunderlich said. “Our sales did drop about 16 percent across the region in July but only after posting an 8 percent hike in June. Even with that drop, sales were up 19 percent from January.”
Wunderlich said median home prices were up 3 percent across the region in July as compared to the previous month. Temecula’s median home price is about $314,000; Murrieta is $250,000; Lake Elsinore is $185,000; Menifee is $185,000, Wunderlich said.
Temecula’s median home price was up 11 percent over January while Murrieta improved its median by 5 percent over the year’s start, Wunderlich said.
“The percent of homes selling across the region is edging down to 60 percent from the 70 percent we enjoyed for the past year, and our inventory levels are pushing three months,” Wunderlich said.
He said the short-sale market is driving some numbers down.
“Bank-owned properties have now been replaced by short-sale inventory. Short sales are failing at a 70 percent rate – they don’t sell,” he said.
Regardless, Wunderlich said Southwest Riverside’s housing market has been on a fairly continual up tick since June 2009.
“We’ve had a few dips, but one month doesn’t concern me,” he said. “If it continues over the next few months, then I will worry.
“Demand is still strong,” he continued. “Multiple offers are coming in on most properties, and investors are gobbling up condos and town homes in the $100,000 range.”
Wunderlich attributes the stability here to low prices.
“We’re still the affordable housing mecca for Orange County, San Diego and Los Angeles,” he said. “We get a lot of buyers here.”
Toni McAllister is SWRNN’s lifestyles editor. She can be reached at email@example.com or 951-234-0704. Follow her on Twitter at SWRNNaelife.