Riverside County

‘Bonkers.' Agents Say There's a Real Estate Boom in the Inland Empire

One agent said he believes buyers are looking for bigger homes because, in part, many are now working from home.

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Real estate agents working in the Inland Empire say demand is so high right now in the area that it's "bonkers" and buyers are getting into bidding wars, sending prices skyrocketing.

Realtor Adam Bouvet says he is still shocked at how busy he's been with buyers eager to find a home in southwest Riverside County.

Basically it's like a Disneyland ride. You have a line of people out here waiting to get in.

Realtor Adam Bouvet

He said it all started shortly after the pandemic began with some homes getting more than 50 showings and multiple offers within hours.

He believes buyers are looking for bigger homes because, in part, many are now working from home.

"[They're] realizing if I'm going to be in lockdown, if I'm going to be in confinement, I want a home I can actually enjoy and love," Bouvet said.

Economists say low interest rates are also driving the high demand for the Inland Empire, which continues to be an attractive area for home buyers fed up with much higher prices in surrounding counties. But the problem is a lack of inventory.

"The reason for that is folks want to keep their house. They like where they live they're not looking to move up so much," economist John Husing said.

That low supply is creating high frustration for buyers like Joshua Johnson who has made offers on roughly a dozen homes without any luck.

At times we are putting offers $20,000 to $40,000 over asking and we are still not in competition at that point.

Prospective homebuyer Joshua Johnson

Bouvet said for example, buyers interested in a four-bedroom home in Murrieta got into a bidding war. The winner paid $60,000 over the asking price.

"It's a great relief for us we are moving here in three weeks time," Edel Smith said.

She and her family are the ones who bought the home and they feel fortunate to have won the bidding war.

"The luck of the Irish certainly helped us this time round," she said.

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