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Riverside County New-Home Sales Up, Reversing Trend

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Pumped up by a slew of buyer incentive plans offered by builders, new-home sales in Riverside County rose during the first quarter to reverse the downward slide of the previous three quarters, a regional real estate research firm said Tuesday.

During the first three-month period of 1990, 3,409 new homes were sold in the county, up 16.4% from 2,930 sales in the fourth quarter of 1989, the Meyers Group reported.

The median price for a single-family new home in the county was $159,900 for the first quarter, up 1.9% from $156,900 in the fourth quarter of 1989.

Despite the sales spurt, activity lagged well behind the first quarter of last year, when 6,835 new homes were sold.

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Home sales were up slightly in all other parts of the county, but the overall total was dragged down by a 44.3% decline in desert home sales, said Steve Johnson, Meyers Group vice president.

Riverside County new-home sales, especially in the desert, are affected by activity in Orange and Los Angeles counties, Johnson said.

And now that the resale markets in Orange and Los Angeles counties “have settled down, buyers aren’t being pushed out here like they were a year ago,” he said.

Because of that slowdown, he said, builders are offering incentive packages, including reduced interest rates, builder-paid closing costs, allowances for landscaping or interior decor and, in Corona and other areas with large inventories of unsold new homes, even major price reductions.


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