Valley construction crews busy as market picks up

FRESNO, Calif.

These days local construction crews are busy at work building new homes for buyers.

In fact the demand is so strong, some lots like the DeYoung development in Northeast Fresno off Nees and Willow were sold out before construction even began, making the housing slump seem like a thing of the past.

"For those of us that thought maybe this would be over in 2009, then thought it might be over in 2010, it's kind of nice to see a recovery," John Shore of the Fresno Community Housing Council said.

New home sales jumped 4.4 percent from October to November. It's now at the highest level in more than two years.

Housing experts say the increase in new home sales is due to a variety of factors everything from near-record low mortgage rates, lower unemployment and a drop in foreclosures.

"Fresno is a very affordable place right now to buy a home, it's in the 70 percent bracket which means that 70 percent of the population can afford to buy the median priced home, which is around $150,000," Shore said.

Even with indicated signs that the economy and housing are improving, Shore says with the fiscal cliff looming, we're not completely out of the woods.

"So I'm a little apprehensive. I think the recovery is taking place but it could be a little bit slower than what a lot of people would like to think is going to happen," Shore said.

Locally, existing homes are also in high demand. Normally there are about 5000 houses for sale at any given time, but right now there are less than 1200 homes listed.

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