Photo by Donald Guy Robinson on Unsplash

Home to a historic landmark hotel, Queen Anne-style residences and fragrant citrus groves, Riverside is perhaps the most desirable city in the Inland Empire. 

And now, it’s projected to be one of the hottest housing markets in the country. Riverside ranked ninth in a Zillow survey of cities where home value growth is expected to outperform the national average. It was the only California market to near the top of the list, earning a net score of seven.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents, consisting of economists and real estate experts, anticipate that Riverside will see significant home value growth in 2021. Another 32 percent said it would perform about the same as the national average, while 31 percent believed it was likely to underperform.

According to Zillow, the typical home value in Riverside was $461,695 as of November 30, 2020, up 9.6 percent year-over-year. Riverside values are expected to climb 10.6 percent in 2021, fueled by demand from Los Angeles-area buyers in search of larger homes at lower prices.

Unsold inventory in the Inland Empire remained incredibly tight throughout 2020, causing one in three Riverside homes to sell above asking during the month of September. During the frenzied late spring/early summer market, only 3.8 percent of listings in the city received a price cut. 

While panelists predicted that Riverside home values will continue to outperform the national average in 2021, Los Angeles is “projected to see a downshift from last year’s remarkable levels,” said Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics, the company that conducted the survey on behalf of Zillow.

Los Angeles nabbed the number 18 spot with a score of -56. The majority of respondents (67 percent) indicated that LA will underperform this year as its sky-high prices and intense bidding wars compel buyers to look for homes in other markets.

“While sustained tailwinds are forecasted this year across most of the shifting US housing landscape, certain densely populated markets with high-priced real estate face prevailing headwinds,” concluded Loebs.

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