Statewide there is an overall shortage of middle and low-income housing Photo by Metro ServicePrices and equity continue to rise at a very robust rate throughout the Valley. Hemet valuations are up 9 percent over last year at this time, while San Jacinto values are up a whopping 13 percent. ■ Matt McPherson / Columnist Throughout California and the country, a severe lack of affordable homes and apartments for middle class and low income families is driving existing home prices skyward. In California, the median home price of $500,000 is twice the national average. With the lack of new housing, construction, prices are expected to continue rising. According to The New

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