The for sale signs and auction notices that now fill Fresno County neighborhoods may soon start coming down. "I think prices have dropped so low that the public is beginning to say yes, now is the time to buy," said John Shamshoian with Realty Concepts.
John Shamshoian is one of several real estate experts who spoke to a sold out crowd at the county's Real Estate Forecast conference Thursday night. Some of the panelists point to an increase in sales of lower priced homes as evidence that the residential market is finally turning around. "We're seeing many well priced properties that are receiving multiple offers now," said Shamshoian.
Bobby Fena with Colliers Tingey International said, "Banks are flush with cash that they need to lend out, interest rates are still low, and there's plenty of availability on the market and I think buyers are starting to get serious."
But that doesn't mean home prices will start rising significantly any time soon. "As far as appreciation goes, I think we'll probably see a flat market there for awhile," said Steve Geil with the Economic Development Corporation.
Shamshoian said buyers will have to snatch up many of the foreclosed homes that are still on the market before property values start bouncing back. "How long is uncertain, I believe it's going to be at least through 2008, possibly early 2009." He recommends homeowners who owe more than they can make on their home wait out the market, but says those with equity may want to take advantage. "For those people who have equity or cash to invest, this is a classic move-up sellers market."