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HOUSING: Sales up 8 percent in Riverside, San Bernardino counties

HOUSING: Sales up 8 percent in Riverside, San Bernardino counties

HOUSING: Sales up 8 percent in Riverside, San Bernardino counties

image0-HOUSING: Sales up 8 percent in Riverside, San Bernardino counties

Home sales in Inland Southern California continued to flex some muscle in April, restoring optimism in a marketplace that got off to a sluggish start for 2015.

It was the third best April for the Inland region since the housing bust, with 6,109 Riverside and San Bernardino new and existing home and condo sales closing escrow, according to CoreLogic DataQuick’s latest report.

The 3,663 sales recorded in Riverside County reflect a 8.2 percent gain from April 2014 when 3,384 sales were logged, and the 2,446 sales in San Bernardino were up 0.5 percent from the year earlier when 2,432 sales were inked.

Prices also toned up.

The median sale price in Riverside County rose 8.3 percent to $ 310,000 from $ 286,250, according to CoreLogic. In San Bernardino County, the median price home buyers paid for a new or existing home or condo bumped up 5.2 percent to $ 252,000 from $ 240,000 in April 2014.

“What I think you’re seeing is a combination of a lot of good things all at once,” observed Rich Simonin, co-owner of Wescoe Realtors in Riverside. “You’ve got low rates and better economic news. The flipper investors are basically gone. What you have in this market are real buyers, real sellers.”

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said home sales across the two-county region market and all of Southern California made the month one of the strongest since April 2006. It was the second consecutive month of gains, coming off the worst February for sales in seven years.

Yet, the collective 21,708 sales reported by CoreLogic for the six-county region were below average and 87 sales behind April 2013 when 21,795 housing units were sold.

For Riverside and San Bernardino counties, LePage said the best April since the recession came in 2013 with 6,357 sales, some 5,520 sales below the April 2004 peak. That year, the two-county region recorded 11,877 sales.

The median price paid for all Southern California homes sold in April 2015 was $ 429,000, the highest median since November 2007 when it was $ 435,000.

The region has some catching up to do. Median prices in Riverside in San Bernardino counties are around 30 percent below their all-time high. But with median home prices rising to $ 600,000 in Orange County, local Realtors say it’s only going to be a matter of time before more sales are inked by buyers from the coast.

“April will not be an aberration,” Simonin said, and predicted: “May numbers will be equally as strong.”

Contact the writer: 951-368-9423 or dgruszecki@yahoo.com

Press Enterprise : Business