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The Pandemic Has Fueled Housing Demand in the Inland Empire

Increased e-commerce activity is generating more than industrial business. Homebuilders are also seeing increased housing demand in the market.

By Kelsi Maree Borland | December 17, 2020 at 02:00 PM

Historically, the Inland Empire has struggled during economic downturns, but the pandemic is unlike any other economic downturn. Increased online shopping has fueled jobs, income and population growth in the Inland Empire—a major hub for ecommerce companies. The growth is translating to strong housing demand and housing sales.

“There’s no question about it: The pandemic has hurt everyone in different ways. But one of the few positives has been this growth in the Inland Empire. There are a couple of factors. First, increased online shopping has boosted the already booming logistics and transportation business. Second, COVID has also shaped the trend towards working from home. As remote work and distance learning become the new norm for many, families are looking for larger, more comfortable and modern homes with outdoor space that may be less expensive than homes or apartments near urban employment centers.” Caitlyn Lai‑Valenti, senior director of sales and marketing at Brookfield Residential, tells

During the pandemic, Brookfield has seen strong sales activity at its three new master plan developments in the Inland Empire, New Haven in Ontario, Audie Murphy Ranch in Menifee and Spencer’s Crossing in Murrieta. Much of the demand is coming from the coastal markets. “Our recent buyers are still predominantly from the surrounding Inland Empire communities, but at New Haven in Ontario, for example, about 8% come from Los Angeles County,” says Lai‑Valenti. About 30% of all buyers are working from home. Communities such as Audie Murphy Ranch in Menifee are drawing buyers from Orange County, LA and Corona while Spencer’s Crossing in Murrieta is seeing more buyers from San Diego County, including coastal areas such as Oceanside.”

One major benefit has been Brookfield’s myTime platform, which allows prospective buyers to privately tour model homes. The program launched prior to the pandemic, and helped to get homebuyers comfortable touring homes once social distancing standards were put in place. “Many new sales occurred during COVD restrictions. Previous to the pandemic, Brookfield Residential nationwide had already launched a system, myTime—where buyers can visit a model home privately and at the hour that’s most convenient for them,” says Lai‑Valenti. “Since COVID restrictions, there is no question that such innovations have helped accelerate transactions. Throughout Brookfield Residential’s Southern California neighborhoods we have seen over 900 myTime visits per month.”

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