Affluence vs. Affordability

Recent huge land purchases in the valley suggest larger, upscale developments to come

Large parcels of vacant land have recently been snapped up by developers in the San Jacinto Valley.

■ Matt McPherson / Contributed

While the real estate market perseveres through the holiday months, many speculate as to where it’s headed. An influx of buyers and investors to the area continue to drive prices up in addition to a surge in the number of property sales. With an increase in interest rates on the horizon, investors are scurrying to invest capital into the Inland Empire property market.
A recent rise in multi-million dollar land purchases has caught the attention of the experts, thus fueling speculation as to what catalyst they may serve once the path of development swallows up the bare pieces of land to the south of the Hemet/San Jacinto valley. Toward the southeast of Hemet, four sales of 300-plus acre parcels have occurred over the last year, drawing the attention of property owners, developers and real estate professionals.
Three separate parcels totaling 5,536 acres sold for $9,664,000. The property encompasses land from the east end of Cactus Valley across the entrance to Bautista Canyon and up toward Wilson Mesa. Currently it is zoned R-R (rural residential) and only allows for large farm-style homesteads and agricultural developments. As the wine country pushes east across Sage and Benton Road, desirable parcels, especially view lots, are becoming more scarce. Access to water or an existing well persists as the primary selling factor in properties to the south of the San Jacinto Valley.
Another large purchase that is currently in escrow is the parcel of 322 acres on the former Ballinger Ranch, which sits on the Ballinger Road entrance to Cactus Valley. This also points to a strong interest by wealthy land investors toward the beautiful and well-kept secrets in the foothills south of Hemet.
As many home seekers continue to flock to the western Inland Empire area, they are met with an interesting choice. The affluence and exorbitant prices of Temecula or the more practical, affordable market provided by Hemet and San Jacinto? To date the average home price in Temecula is around $460,000 at an average of 2,200 square feet, which allows between 3 and 4 bedrooms and approximately two bathrooms. This includes a minimal yard with not much room for a pool or recreation.
Whereas $460,000 in Hemet and San Jacinto can get you upwards of 3,700 square feet with more than four bedrooms, and custom everything on over half an acre of land. This offers large spaces for pools, garages, RV storage, beautiful landscaping, in addition to outdoor recreation.
Recently I toured a beautiful custom home on Legacy Court in the east Hemet/Valle Vista area. Granite counter tops, custom cabinetry, and crown moulding complimented a free-flowing 2,700 square foot home with a high-end waterfall pool on almost half an acre. Price tag? $469,000. A comparable home in Temecula would cost around $750,000.
The unbelievable affordability of high-end custom properties in the valley continues to lure home buyers and property investors to the beautiful, breathtaking environment that is the San Jacinto Valley.

Matt McPherson
6th Generation in the Valley
Coldwell Banker Associated Brokers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *