Home Construction

Construction workers pour a concrete slab for a home under construction in Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday. The median price for a single-family home in the Inland Empire rose 16.5 percent, to $267,000, in the space of a year. (Will Lester – staff photographer)

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/01/14, 8:05 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

A new report on the Inland Empire economy released Wednesday by the Los Angeles-based economic research firm Beacon Economics finds home prices rising in a region experts say is a major growth area for the state.

The Inland Empire ranks high among other growth regions in the state, such as Silicon Valley, San Francisco and the Central Coast, said Jordan Levine, economist and director of economic research for Beacon Economics.

Beacon projects home prices in San Bernardino and Riverside counties growing at an average annual rate of 8.4 percent from the second quarter of 2014 through 2020.

The median price for a single-family home in the Inland Empire rose 16.5 percent, to $267,000, from the second quarter of last year to the second quarter of 2014, according to the report.

Despite the rise in price, prospective home buyers will remain attracted to the Inland Empire because of affordability relative to other areas in Southern California, experts say.

“Prices have been going up but they’ve been going up all across Southern California, and overall median prices are still cheaper than what people pay in the coastal areas of Los Angeles and Orange County,” Levine said. “So folks are able to save relative to what they would pay on the coast by migrating to the Inland Empire, which will lead to additional population growth for the Inland Empire in the coming years.”

Median home prices in San Bernardino and Riverside counties have increased by over 71 percent since hitting bottom during the third quarter of 2009. Prices remain 32.1 percent below a high of $393,400 in early 2007.

Randall Lewis, the principal of the Upland-based Lewis Group of Cos., a major player in development in the region, said the housing market is “in a good place right now.”

“We are seeing heavy appreciation as the economy gets a little stronger and the job picture gets a little better,” Lewis said. “If the economy stays as is, we might see price increases lower than projected, but if the economy takes off, it could happen.”

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