The Inland Empire’s economy is showing signs of sturdy growth as 2021 nears a close, with the housing market leading the way, according to a report released Wednesday.

The UC Riverside School of Business’ Center for Economic Forecasting released its quarterly Inland Empire Business Activity Index, which indicated private sector activity as a whole expanded 8% throughout the region in the second quarter of this year, topping the nationwide gross domestic product growth rate of 6.6%.

“The Inland Empire’s better relative performance stems both from the fact that many parts of the local economy have shed the effects of the pandemic and because the area fell into a deeper hole during the crisis than the nation overall, leaving more room for growth,” Center for Forecasting Chief Researcher Taner Osman said.

“We anticipate the region will continue to experience a more rapid growth rate in its business activity this year,” he added.

The real estate market remains a standout across the IE. From the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of this year, median single-family home prices surged 24.7%, besting neighboring Orange County, but coming in just below Los Angeles and San Diego counties.

According to the report, the “fundamentals” supporting regional housing market acceleration remain strong, including “high demand, low inventory that will continue for years, relative affordability and low interest rates.”

The complete report is available at ucreconomicforecast.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/IE_Business_Activity_Index_Fall_10_13_2021.pdf.

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