New Signs of Life in Fresno Real Estate

5/20/2008 Fresno, CA When Don and Helga Livingstone decided to put their Woodward Lake home on the market, they weren't optimistic, but they got a big surprise. "Basically, to test the market and see if it was as bad as the media was presenting it. And we sold in two weeks," said Don Livingstone.

Two other homes on the same block also sold quickly.

Real Estate Agent Don Scordino is president of the local realtors association and said such sales are becoming more common. "If a homes priced well and staged right it will sell now, there's a lot of activity."

Scordino claims the market is on the mend. "In the Fresno Clovis area, during the month of April we have 615 homes go into contract, compared to last winter we were averaging about 3 hundred a month."

Similar surges are being seen in the Sacramento area.

But economist Henry Nishimoto said it's too soon to say the housing market is bouncing back. "I think that's wishful thinking. The housing market like other industries has a tremendous amount of momentum, and right now that momentum is moving in a downward direction."

But, Nishimoto believes the bottom of the market may be near. "If there is a rebound in the housing market it's not going to come for maybe six to nine months from now."

But Nishimoto doesn't see any more dramatic price drops, or increases. Scordino is a little more optimistic, "My opinion is we hit bottom four or five months ago, and we're bumping along the bottom but we're pulling up."

The Livingstones realize they could have gotten more for their home a couple of years ago, but they also got a big discount on a brand new home they bought, because home builders are desperate. "If you go down a little on your price, the home you're buying is going to be down also, so it works for both sides," said Don Livingstone.

Builders are offering lots of incentives on new homes, but most folks need to sell their existing homes to buy.

It's still a tough market, but for some folks, it appears to be getting better.

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