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Riverside Housing Market Trends in 2017: A SoCal Standout?

Yesterday, we published an update on California’s Inland Empire real estate market. It explained how cities like Riverside and San Bernardino are seeing a boost in home sales, partly from people who are seeking a more affordable alternative to the coastal employment centers.

The Riverside County housing market, in particular, is looking very strong at the start of 2017. Home sales and and prices have both risen steadily over the last year, according to a recent report from the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR). And at least one forecast for the Riverside housing market suggests they’ll continue rising through 2017.

Riverside County Housing Market Trends in 2017

Let’s start with home sales, because there are some significant trends to report here. According to a February 2017 news release from CAR, the Riverside housing market experienced the largest annual increase in home sales of any county in Southern California.

To quote the report: “Riverside County led the [SoCal] region in pending sales, posting a 16.2 percent increase from a year ago.”

The Inland Empire real estate market offers more affordable homes, when compared to cities on or near the California coast. And it seems a lot of people are willing to live further inland to make their housing dollars go farther, even if it means a longer commute.

According to a separate CAR news release: “In Southern California, an influx of buyers from coastal employment areas into the Inland Empire drove healthy year-over-year sales in Riverside and San Bernardino.” [Reported in February 2017]

When demand rises and supply remains steady, prices tend to go up. And that’s what we are seeing in the Riverside County housing market, at the start of 2017. In fact, it registered the highest year-over-year price increase of any county in the Southern California region.

According to CAR, the median sales price for existing single-family homes in Riverside County rose from  $328,000 in January 2016 to $357,500 in January 2017, for a year-over-year gain of 9%. Of course, those prices are still low compared to coastal cities.

Will California home prices keep rising?

Above-Average Home Price Forecast

Given the high level of demand mentioned above, it’s not surprising that the economists at Zillow have issued a positive home-price forecast for the Riverside housing market in 2017.

On March 1, 2017, the company’s website stated that they expect the median home price in Riverside, California to rise by 4.8% over the next 12 months (through March 2018). That was higher than their national outlook, which projected a year-over-year gain of 3% for home prices across the United States.

House values in Riverside are expected to rise more slowly over the course of 2017, compared to last year. And that’s probably a good thing. Many housing markets across California have been overheated in recent years, with prices rising much faster than wages. These trends have created housing affordability issues in the Bay Area and many coastal cities.

But the Riverside real estate market is still fairly affordable, relative to median income in the area. And a slowdown in home-price appreciation could help it stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Disclaimer: This story contains predictions and forecasts for the Riverside, California housing market in 2017. Such statements were provided by third parties not associated with our company. We have presented them here, along with other real estate trends and data, as an education service to our readers.

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