Valley's Housing Market is improving

Housing Crisis May Be Coming to an end
Fresno A sold out crowd of about 800 people is expected to attend tonight's event. Organizers say the high interest in real estate comes at a time when there's finally some good news in the forecast.

The record foreclosure rates and slumping home prices of 2007 may mean great opportunities in 2008.

Steve Geil, Economic Development Corp.: "I think right now prices have pretty much flattened out in Fresno and I think it's a great time to be buying. If you're a young couple looking to buy your first home, right now is a very good time."

Steve Geil is the President and C.E.O of Fresno County's Economic Development Corporation and one of seven speakers at the 5th Annual Real Estate Forecast. He says homes priced at $300 thousand dollars and less, are starting to sell and people are at least showing interest in more expensive houses.

Steve Geil: "We're seeing more tire kickers, people going out to the models and looking and asking questions and starting to realize, this is a very enticing time to move up in a house, so it's a very good time to be in the residential."

Other real estate experts say the commercial and industrial markets are also moving in the right direction.

Bobby Fena, Colliers Tingey International: "This is the year space will be absorbed. We don't think we'll see a lot of new construction, but it's not come to a screeching halt either, so it could be a lot worse."

The forecast isn't all sunny. Geil says homeowners and landowners hoping to sell for residential development will have to deal with devalued property. While more people may be buying houses, that doesn't mean home prices will start to rise significantly any time soon.

Steve Geil: "As far as appreciation goes, I think we'll probably see a flat market there for awhile."

Geil says Fresno County tends to set the real estate pace for the rest of the Valley, so he expects surrounding counties to see similar market trends.

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