HOUSING: Inland prices up another 6 percent

HOUSING: Inland prices up another 6 percent

The increase mirrors a national trend, but in this area, affordability is an issue

Inland housing prices in May rose by 6 percent over a year earlier – a plus for sellers but another signal that homes in the area are more expensive than average earners can afford.

The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area also posted a 0.9 percent increase in the price of homes over the previous month.

The figures are from CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.

Locally, the increase comes as homebuyers pick through a tight inventory looking for homes they can afford.

When comparing the monthly mortgage of a median-priced home with the monthly net income of a median-earning worker, the affordability index already perceived an imbalance, even before the May numbers were released.

The median price of a Riverside County home in May was $330,000 and in San Bernardino County was $255,000.

Going in the other direction were median incomes for Inland wage-earners. In 2008 the Census Bureau estimated median incomes in the area at $59,547. By 2011 the figure had fallen to $53,201 and in 2012 median wages were listed at $51,695.

The bureau said Inland median incomes suffered the biggest drop of all the 25 biggest metro areas in the country.

Nontheless, the national picture had CoreLogic’s top economist thinking positive.

“Housing remained an oasis of stability in May with home prices rising year over year between 5 percent and 6 percent for 22 consecutive months,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft. “The consistently solid growth in home prices has been driven by the highest resale activity in nine years and a still-tight housing inventory.”

“Price appreciation continues to be fairly broad-based across the U.S. From a regional perspective, the Pacific Northwest continues to be the hottest area for home-price growth, with Oregon and Washington leading the way,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The recent turbulence in financial markets should lead to modestly lower mortgage rates, which will provide even more support to the steadily improving real estate recovery.”

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