REAL ESTATE: Low inventory reduces pending sales in Inland area – Press

REAL ESTATE: Low inventory reduces pending sales in Inland area

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The lack of available housing throughout Southern California is catching up with the Inland Empire, a new report suggests.

High demand and low inventory are driving up prices here, according to Jordan Levine, economist with the California Association of Realtors.

The association’s Pending Home Sales Index showed a 1.7 statewide decrease in March from March 2015.

Sales in Southern California were down 0.3 percent from a year ago.

The report did not break out numbers in the Inland Empire. But Levine said in a phone interview that the Inland Empire and Orange County dragged down the region. Los Angeles County saw a 1 percent increase in activity, while Orange County saw a 4.3 percent decline.

Levine said the effects of low inventory are more noticeable in Riverside County than San Bernardino County.

One factor might be people being driven out of coastal communities by high prices and heading inland for more affordable options, thus pushing up prices here.

“I think there’s some migration issues there,” Levine said.

The San Francisco Bay Area saw the biggest yearly drop, 3.7 percent.

Month to month, pending home sales rose 12.7 from February to March. But when seasonally adjusted, home sales actually dropped 1 percent, according to the association.

The association has also released its monthly online survey of 300 state real estate agents.

Among Market Pulse Survey findings:

• The number of homes selling above asking price rose to 34 percent in March, to its highest level since July.

• The number of homes selling below asking price dropped to 33 percent.

• Half the properties received multiple offers.The average for March was 3.3 offers.

• Lack of inventory was the biggest concern of 40 percent of real estate agents surveyed. Decline in housing afforability was the biggest concern of 18 percent.

Levine joined the California Association of Realtors earlier this year. Before that, he was with Beacon Economics, a Los Angeles-based research firm, and was senior economist with the newly formed UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

Contact the writer: fbuck@pe.com or 951-368-9551


Article source: http://www.pe.com/articles/percent-801046-march-inland.html

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