Builders say more Valley families looking for homes

FRESNO, Calif.

Experts say a shortage of Valley homes for sale is causing more people to look over new homes now being built.

Builders believe the market is ready for a rebound.

The sound of home construction around the valley is an encouraging sign.

Benchmark Homes just unveiled new Vantage model homes at the Harlan Ranch development in Clovis. Granite counters and ceiling fans are standard in these homes.

Lisa Burk says after a dismal period many families are once again looking to buy new homes.

"It's exciting to see people aren't afraid anymore. They're seeing that they can come out and build their home and not be afraid it's going to lose value," Burk said.

John Shore of the Community Housing Council says home builders are re-entering the market at a good time because the valley's housing inventory is just 20 percent of normal.

"There's 1900 homes today available for sale in the Fresno-Clovis area but out of those, the ones under 200 thousand where the average first time home buyer would be looking, there's only about 377," Shore said.

"They're just not out there. People just don't want to deal with it. They get their hearts set on something. There's three or four different bids, offers on the house," Burk said.

The Vantage homes start at $309 thousand but Burk says the bigger models are popular with growing families, even ones where the parents are moving in with their kids.

Those homes in Harlan Ranch had their first showing last weekend. McCaffrey Homes will also unveil model homes in Clovis on Friday.

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