Fresno Housing Prices Continue to Plunge

Fresno, Calif. "It went on the market just 15 days ago at $199,000, and probably two years ago it would have been selling for $300,000 or $325,000 and today they just reduced it to $178,000. So, it's a deal," said Real Estate Broker Patti O'Neil.

The 22 hundred square foot home, sits on a ten thousand square foot lot, with a big pool. It's just one of the thousands of foreclosures now on the market.

"I've seen bargains before but with the combination of interest rate plus there's no time like it that I can remember in 25 years," O'Neill said.

She notes fixed rate loans are available at interest rates of 5 per cent or even lower. Home prices in Fresno County are down 32 per cent compared to a year ago.

As a result, sales are up 42 percent. More than 3 thousand homes remain on the market just in Fresno County alone.

But sales have continued at a rate of more than 600 a month in the Fresno area. O'Neill said the faster the foreclosures sell, the faster the market will stabilize.

"I think by the end of this year we'll be crawling our way out."

It may be a long crawl. 60 percent of the homes now on the market in Fresno County are foreclosures. Real estate analysts said as prices drop more owners may simply quit paying for a house that has lost its value, and let the lender foreclose, putting more under-priced homes on the market.


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