Major Shift in Fresno-Clovis Real Estate

September 4, 2009 8:48:51 PM PDT
Fresno's real estate market is seeing a major shift. New numbers out from the realtors association show that home prices are rising very quickly. Earlier this year in February, the median price was $127,000. Now, homes are selling for $160,000. Doug Betts says, "The idea behind this is I wanted a low maintenance and low water usage yard." Betts has big plans for his new yard. He is a new neighbor at an infamous Fresno development- Running Horse, a place still dotted with unfinished homes. That's exactly why Betts purchased a two story house in April and took advantage of the government's $8,000 tax credit Betts said, "It was a depressed house, because it was a foreclosure. It's in a depressed neighborhood because of the trouble with Running Horse. And it's in a depressed market. So it was a heck of a great deal."

But the great deals are ending. George Mees with the Fresno Realtors Association says some shoppers are frustrated. One year ago the Fresno-Clovis market was flush. More than 5,000 homes were for sale. Now, inventories have plummeted. In August, buyers had a little more than 2,300 homes to choose from, a 54% drop. Mees says, "Get your hat in the ring. Even though you may not get the first home or second home or the third one, keep trying and eventually you'll be successful." Mees attributes the shrinking housing selection to the state's 90-day moratorium on foreclosures. The foreclosure auctions in Downtown Fresno aren't as exciting as they use to be. Real-estate investor George Suakgin describes what happens if the moratorium ends in mid-September. Suakgin says, "If that happens then we are going to be getting the biggest flood of properties coming down the county has never seen."

Realtors hope the housing crisis is over. But if a wave of foreclosures is coming, realtors say prices could once again fall.

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