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Twin Cities housing report:

Temecula, Murrieta remain desirable places to live

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Excellent school systems, a highly skilled labor force, exceptional quality of life and affordable housing have kept Temecula and Murrieta housing out of the “foreclosure row,” and onto people’s most desirable places to live list. Although much of the nation is still reeling from the Great Recession, Temecula and Murrieta, the Twin Cities of Southern California, are shining through this fog.

According to a recent report released by the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors, June 2012 marked the fourth consecutive month that Temecula’s median housing price topped more than $300,000 and the first time since April 2008 that Murrieta’s median price has ventured above the $300,000 level. Residential sales continue to be strong through the first half of 2012, and sales are up 36 percent from the first half of 2009.

If the Twin Cities can keep enough inventory on the market to meet demand, 2012 will easily establish a new benchmark for residential sales in Southwest Riverside County. Keep in mind that the first half of 2010 was aided by the Federal First Time Homebuyer Program along with a variety of other first time home buyer programs. This year, 2012 sales were accomplished without artificial stimulus or market manipulation, so there is some expectation that sales should continue to increase in third quarter.

Demand remains strong in Southwest Riverside County, within the Twin Cities in particular. In June 2012, Temecula sold three homes and Murrieta 2.6 homes for every new listing on the market. The product mix also continues to shift. Four years ago, 92 percent of the Riverside County market were distressed homes (majority of these are bank owned) with 8 percent being considered standard sales. Today, it’s the bank owned properties that make up the 8 percent of the market and standard sales making more than 50 percent of the market. Although many cities are struggling to bounce back, Murrieta and Temecula continue to be premier cities with bright futures ahead of them.

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