How To Navigate The Riverside, CA Real Estate Market: 3 Tips

How To Navigate The Riverside, CA Real Estate Market: 3 Tips

The crown jewel of Southern California’s Inland Empire, Riverside, boasts year-round sunshine and warm-to-hot temperatures. Know what’s even hotter? The Riverside CA real estate market.

Due to the city’s desirability, Riverside’s market strongly favors sellers. This means selling your Riverside home should be easy—at least in theory.

However, anyone who’s ever sold a home knows the process can be unpredictable and occasionally exhausting. That’s why we’re here.

In this guide, we’ll give you three tried-and-true tips to navigate the Riverside real estate market with confidence.

#1 Know the Macro and Micro Housing Market

It may seem obvious that knowing the ins and- outs of a city’s housing market can prepare you to sell your home. But many people fail to take the housing market for individual neighborhoods into account.

The truth is that while your city’s macro housing market can give you an idea of how to value your home compared to those throughout the area, the micro-housing market provides a better idea of the value in your immediate area.

Let’s break down the Riverside County real estate market by looking at the housing market at the macro and micro levels.

Riverside Housing Market: Macro

When looking at the housing market from the macro level, the median home price in Riverside County—$495,399—is considerably higher than the national average.1

Here are a few more things to note:2

  • Number of housing units – In the last quarter of 2021, there were 90,722 housing units in Riverside. These units are primarily subdivided into houses, townhomes, and apartments. 51.5% of Riverside residents own their own homes, and 48.5% rent.
  • Age of housing units –  Older homes comprise most of Riverside. 45.4% of homes were built between 1970-1999, and 33.2% of homes were built between 1940-1969. Only 14.3% of homes were built after 2000. 
  • Size of homes Look at the floor plan. 3-bedroom homes are the most common home size in Riverside, accounting for 33% of all homes. 2-bedroom homes account for 23.6%, and 1-bedroom homes account for 13.6%
  • Home type Single-family homes account for 63.9% of total homes. Apartment complexes account for 23.6%, and townhomes account for 4.3%.
  • Market type – The city’s housing market is a strong seller’s market. This means that demand exceeds housing supply.
  • Days on the market – On average, Riverside homes spend 63 days on the market.3

Knowing the city’s housing market can help you ballpark your home’s value. For example, if you have a newer, larger home than is generally available, you may have more interested buyers looking for extra square footage and lower maintenance costs.

However, for a more precise value, you need to look at the housing market for individual neighborhoods.

Aerial view of Menifee neighborhood, residential subdivision vila during sunset. Riverside County, California, United States

Riverside Housing Market: Micro

While it’s tempting to think of Riverside as just one city, it’s helpful to break it down into 24 distinct neighborhoods. 

This is because no two neighborhoods are alike. As a result, a house in Victoria may sell for less than a house of the same size in Alessandro Heights.

While several factors can lead to price differences between similar homes in different neighborhoods, the largest reasons for these differentials include:

  • Location – There’s a reason why many real estate agents shout “location, location, location” as if it were the national anthem. In short, location is one of the best predictors of home value. Homes in desirable areas will generally sell for more than homes in less-desirable locations. 
  • Amenities and attractions – While some neighborhoods are known for their excellent parks, others are famous for their fantastic restaurants and high-end grocery stores. In general, the more amenities and attractions a neighborhood has, the higher the home values.
  • Crime and safety – Crime and safety play a large role in determining a neighborhood’s home values. Safer neighborhoods tend to boast higher median sale prices.
  • Schools – Many families will often choose a neighborhood based on its schools. The better the schools, the more coveted the neighborhood.

Now, let’s look at two Riverside neighborhoods at both ends of the housing market spectrum: Airport and Hawarden Hills.

Airport

Located close to Riverside Municipal Airport, Riverside’s Airport neighborhood is one of the city’s most affordable neighborhoods.

This affordability is mostly due to the neighborhood’s location. The airport’s noise and traffic congestion help drive down home prices. 

Here are a few key neighborhood details:4

  • Median home listing and selling price – The median home listing price for the Airport neighborhood is $494.9K, and the median selling price is $515K.
  • Average number of days on the market – Homes in the Airport neighborhood are on the market for an average of 56 days.

Hawarden Hills

Riverside’s Hawarden Hills neighborhood is an affluent neighborhood on the other side of I-215. Known for its great schools, amenities, and accessibility, Hawarden Hills features some of the city’s most expensive housing:5

  • Median home listing and selling price – The median home price in Hawarden Hills is $825K, and the median selling price is $815K.
  • Average number of days on the market – Homes in the Hawarden Hills neighborhood are on the market for an average of 85 days.

While homes in Hawarden Hills fetch considerably higher prices than the Airport neighborhood, they’re also on the market for a bit longer. This may be tied to the lower number of potential buyers at the higher price point.

The point is this: knowing your specific neighborhood’s housing market can help you accurately price your home relative to other homes in your area. Likewise, it can help you anticipate the time it will take to sell your home. If you want to get cash in your pocket faster, listing under market value can help you achieve your goals.

#2 Perform a Comparative Analysis

Like a general housing market analysis, a comparative analysis looks at several data points to accurately value your home.

However, unlike a housing market analysis, a comparative analysis looks at an area’s broader socio-political and economic dimensions, including long-term trends.

In addition to housing market data, comparative analyses often explore an area’s:

  • Expected population growth
  • Unemployment rate
  • Median family income
  • Household type

All of these data points can help you accurately value your home. Let’s look at a few of the most important.6

Expected Population Growth

Since 2010, Riverside’s population grew from 2,189,641 to 2,376,000, a 1.2% change.

A growth in population lets you know that housing demand may increase. This, in turn, may lead to higher home values.

Median Family Income

If your home is valued considerably higher than someone with the median family income can comfortably afford, you may have a difficult time moving it off the market.

A comparative analysis helps you pinpoint your area’s median buying power.

The current median family income for Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario HMA is $60,500.

Unemployment Rate

An area’s unemployment rate not only impacts an area’s median buying power but may also impact crime and safety. 

The current unemployment rate for Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario HMA is 5.9%.

View of downtown Riverside from Mount Rubidoux, in Riverside, California

#3 Look at Comparable Properties 

Once you have a sense of micro-trends, macro-trends, and demographic trends, it’s time to consider the specific value of your home based on its features. 

Beyond neighborhood, these include:

  • Home type – If you have a 3BR home, get a sense of comparable properties by looking at other 3BR homes. Why? When a prospective buyer looks for financing, their bank will conduct an appraisal, taking comparable home types into account. If your home is overpriced, the buyer’s financing may not be approved.
  • Square footage – If your 3BR home is 500sq feet smaller than the average 3BR in your neighborhood, it will likely sell for less than other comparable homes. Conversely, extra square footage can be especially appealing in the work-from-home era.
  • Lot size – Prospective buyers are also looking for outdoor space that will allow them to enjoy the Riverside sunshine. The total size of your lot and the condition of the grounds can affect your home’s valuation. 
  • Condition – Perhaps you’ve inherited a Riverside property with significant issues—whether structural, cosmetic, or both. While some buyers may see potential, the home will likely possess less value than comparable prospective properties with up-to-date renovations.

Choosing Your Price Point

Looking at comparable homes can give you all the information you need to accurately value your home.

That said, wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to avoid getting bogged down by all this information?

The good news is, there is. 

In addition to gathering housing market information, be sure to check out ways to easily and conveniently sell your home for top dollar—without the need of a real estate agent or investing significant time or capital in upgrades and repairs.

Navigate the Riverside, CA Real Estate Market With FlipSplit

Navigating an area’s housing market can seem like paddling a kayak in a riptide– the constant stream of data can quickly overwhelm you.

In addition to knowing current home values, it’s important to know median family income and other comparative data.

Fortunately, you don’t have to get bogged down in a current of neverending analytics.

That’s because at FlipSplit, we buy houses. We’ll buy your Riverside home for the amount it deserves, without a listing agent. What’s more, FlipSplit will share with you any profits it makes after your home sells. Riverside is cool. FlipSplit makes it that much cooler.

Sources:

  1. NeighborhoodScout. Riverside, CA Real Estate Appreciation and Housing Market Trends. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/riverside/real-estate
  2. Realtor.com. Riverside, CA Real Estate Market.https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Riverside_CA/overview
  3. Realtor.com. Riverside Airport, Riverside, CA Real Estate Market. https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Riverside-Airport_Riverside_CA/overview
  4. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/pdf//RiversideCA-comp-17.pdf
  5. Realtor.com. Hawarden Hills, Riverside, CA Real Estate Market. https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Hawarden-Hills_Riverside_CA/overview

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