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Riverside County Housing: Glut in East, Boom in West : Firm's Survey Finds Single-Family Homes Selling Briskly, While Inventory Large for Attached Units

June 01, 1986

Eastern Riverside County has an "enormous glut" of unsold new housing, while the western part of the county could absorb all of the single-family detached houses within 10 weeks at the current sales pace, according to Market Profiles, a Costa Mesa-based housing research organization.

While overall sales in the eastern part of the county rose 11.6% during the first three months of the year, the inventory was a "whopping" 80.5%, according to Fred Schlosser, marketing director for the firm's "Residential Trends" report.

He added that relatively expensive attached units dominate the eastern part of Riverside County--essentially the Palm Springs/Rancho Mirage/Palm Desert area--with the greatest demand for units priced between $125,000 and $150,000.

"The majority of unsold homes within the attached category were priced between $80,000 and $125,000, reflecting the fact that area buyers have more discretionary income," he said, adding that the drop in interest rates has contributed to the increased sales pace and buyers want the more expensive units.

The Market Profiles survey covered the 19 detached and 54 attached developments actively selling in eastern Riverside County and found that, while unsold inventory still stands high for the area, 28,260 new residential units are planned, up 27.3% from the figure reported six months ago.

Attached units will continue to dominate the eastern part of Riverside County, accounting for 59.2% of the area's total proposed units and 65.8% of those already under construction, Schlosser said.

In contrast to the relatively expensive condominiums of the desert resort areas, western Riverside County is single-family home country, he said. Fully 93.5% of all new homes sold in the first three months of 1986 were in single-family detached projects.

Unsold inventory in the western part of the county totaled 1,842 detached units and 251 attached ones, but the strong demand for single-family housing means that the attached inventory could last for up to 5 1/2 months, he added.

The average base price of the units in the 114 detached developments in western Riverside County increased 3.2% over the fourth quarter of 1985, from $96,196 to $99,240, while the average price of units in the 16 attached projects declined 4.3% to $79,393.

Schlosser said that detached building activity will continue to dominate the area, accounting for 81.9% of the proposed 62,319 new units and 89.6% of units actually under construction.

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