Valley Home Sales

November 11, 2008 7:19:59 PM PST
The valley housing market has been flooded with foreclosed homes, and houses that aren't selling. So some developers are changing their building plans. Realtors say first-time homebuyers are getting back in the game. And they're finding new down-sized model homes.

Granville's promise of a new home for under 200-thousand dollars turns heads on Highway 99. With the housing market flooded with homes new and old ... homebuyers like Joyce Cook say it is a good time to browse.

Joyce Cook said, "Yeah and it's cheaper. That's what people are looking at too right now. The interest rate is cheaper so we're trying to grab it right now."

The median price of a home in Fresno is about $189-thousand dollars. The price has dropped from $260-thousand a year ago. The high number of foreclosed homes for sale has forced home-builders to be more aggressive

Victor Gonzales of Granville Homes said, "It's been very competitive. There's a lot of inventory on the market. That's why builders are challenged with coming up with a product that's gonna be efficient, it's gonna look good and priced right where it should be for this market."

Many builders have been busy "re-engineering" their properties. In the Harlan Ranch Development in Clovis, these fully furnished town and country model homes are being sold. They'll be replaced by new model homes which won't be as big or as pricey.

Anthony Gamber said, "Actually they're smart doing that for two reasons. First of all, they can't compare that model with an existing foreclosure so it's new product. Also, they've got to reduce their cost to bring the price down to compete with what the bank-owned properties are selling for."

Gamber says bank-owned properties currently make up over 50-percent of home sales so builders needed to do something to stand out in the market.

Statewide the median price of a home has dropped 40-percent from a year ago from $535-thousand to $316-thousand.

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