New Home Construction Booms as Foreclosure Filings Rise

The construction boom has also left homebuilders scrambling to find enough qualified workers

By Tony Shin and Stephanie Miranda
|  Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013  |  Updated 10:41 AM PDT
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In recent months, the Inland Empire real estate market has been steadily improving. Duane Koerner says there is so much construction work, he’s having trouble finding workers for all the jobs. However, according to foreclosure company RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings in Riverside County went up 13 percent in May from April. Tony Shin reports from Moreno Valley for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 17, 2013.

Tony Shin

In recent months, the Inland Empire real estate market has been steadily improving. Duane Koerner says there is so much construction work, he’s having trouble finding workers for all the jobs. However, according to foreclosure company RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings in Riverside County went up 13 percent in May from April. Tony Shin reports from Moreno Valley for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 17, 2013.

A new national survey says homebuilders are feeling optimistic about sales, and in parts of the Inland Empire, like Corona, new home construction is booming.

But the construction comes as foreclosure filings took a noticeable jump over the past several weeks, putting Riverside and San Bernardino counties in the top 15 highest foreclosure rates in the state.

“We’re super, super busy right now.” says Duane Koerner of Twin Oaks Landscaping.
While the survey by the National Association of Home Builders was encouraging, several bleak years for the industry have caused some to abandon it. And that's led to new problems.

Koerner says there’s so much construction work, he’s having trouble finding enough qualified workers.

“A lot of the guys disappeared out of the business because the economy was so bad. Now it's booming and we’re screaming for guys,” he said.

For the past several months, the Inland Empire real estate market has been steadily improving. Home prices have gone up along with home sales. Brokers say that should help existing homeowners who are upside down.

But according to the foreclosure company, RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings in Riverside county actually went up 13 percent in May from April and 9 percent in San Bernardino county.

“What you have is a legacy of still a large number of homes that are underwater where they haven’t been paying and I think the financial institutions are starting to take action, “says John Husing.

Husing is an economist in the Inland Empire. He says in January there was a noticeable lull in foreclosure filings, which could be why foreclosures are now climbing.

“And they’re now in the process of catching up,” says Husing.

Husing says investors are buying up most of the foreclosures, so if you’re looking for a home, try a new one.

“You’re gonna get a great deal that’s for sure right now,” says Koerner.

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