Total new-home closings: 5,389 
Population: 4,441,890 

The good: A stable environment that's ensured by job growth and consumer confidence. 
The bad: Less than 30% of home buyers are able to afford new homes. 
The bottom line: This market may not be exploding, but it's geared up for steady performance.

Since 2011, builders enjoy a safe market environment in usually volatile Riverside, via annual starts and closings that fall closely in line with one another year after year. As consistent job growth, lower unemployment, and growing consumer confidence registered in the first quarter of 2015, annual starts rose by 23.1% year over year and by 6.8% over the fourth quarter of 2014. That isn't to say the region is without its challenges. With median prices among resale properties clocking in at $135,000 less than median new home prices, 30% of buyers are lured out of new construction. But that hasn't stopped annual closings among new homes from trudging upward by 5.5% in first quarter 2015 over first quarter 2014, as 65% of the quarter's starts fall in line with able buyers from $300,000 to $500,000.