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NEW HOMES SALES IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY DROP TO A FIVE YEAR LOW

 NEW HOMES SALES IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY DROP TO A FIVE YEAR LOW
 ENCINO, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- New home sales during the second quarter of 1992 (May - July) totaled 1,835 attached and detached units. This is a decrease of 8.6 percent from the prior quarter, when 2,008 units were sold. Furthermore, sales are down 31.9 percent from last year's second quarter, and this is the lowest second quarter sales total in the five-year history of The Competitive Housing Market Report published quarterly by The Meyers Group, an independent marketing research and consulting firm.
 Several factors have combined to cause this quarter's drop in sales momentum. First and foremost are the job losses in Orange and Los Angeles counties during 1991 (which were larger than initially reported) and the first half of 1992. "Without an employment recovery in these counties and the re-establishment of a commuter market, it will take much longer for sales volume to recover in Riverside County," commented Buck Panchal, a senior consultant at The Meyers Group.
 The best-selling projects in the county this quarter are positioned near the bottom of the market in terms of size and price or are serving distinct market niches. Three of the top five best- selling projects have prices that start under $115,000, while the remaining two serve the resort housing market in the desert area. Eighty-six percent of all detached units sold last quarter were priced under $200,000, while 57 percent were priced under $150,000. "This indicates that developers offering affordable product, whether it's first time buyer, first time move-up or move-down product, are garnering most of the new home sales," Panchal said.
 Sales were down in all submarkets of The Competitive Housing Market Report except the desert. Increased sales in this area were due to the success of a new resort community, Indian Ridge, by the Sunrise Corp. Indian Ridge began converting reservations this quarter and recorded 87 attached sales and 38 detached sales for a total of 125 sales or nearly 30 percent of the deserts total.
 Nineteen new attached and detached projects entered the market this quarter. Thirty projects have left the marketplace this quarter while 49 projects have sold-out and are attempting to close their remaining escrows. This quarter's drop in active projects and the potential for further drops as indicated by the high number of sold- out projects is a positive indication that due to supply-side adjustments, the overall health of the market is improving.
 Inventory levels continued to fall for the seventh consecutive quarter. A total of 3,641 attached and detached units were available at the end of the second quarter of 1992. Overall, inventory has stabilized and sales must now rise to restore equilibrium to the market.
 The Meyers Group is an independent marketing research and consulting firm which serves the real estate industry in the Western United States. The Competitive Housing Market Report is a quarterly publication.
 -0- 8/6/92
 /CONTACT: Buck Panchal, 714-735-3760, or Mary Cameron, 818-501-8905, both of The Meyers Group/ CO: The Meyers Group ST: California IN: SU:


LS-KJ -- LA029 -- 7738 08/06/92 16:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1992
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