Positive forecast for Valley housing market

FRESNO, California

Fewer homes are up for sale in the Fresno/Clovis area. But that could be changing as real estate experts told Action News banks are eager to lend again.

'Sold' signs are once again bringing in more money for sellers, about 7 percent in the last year. And while the central California real estate market is looking up there are a few items holding the market back.

"It's finally good news. It's been dyer for the last five or six years," said Bobby Fena from Colliers International. "There hasn't been much in the way of leasing or sale activity, and virtually no construction activity. But that's changing. The market it definitely picking up, it's not great. It's heading in the right direction."

For the past 10 years Fena has assembled a panel of local experts in finance, residential and commercial real estate. The panel collectively sees the valley's market rising considerable each of the next few years. The problem with home sales right now is a lack of inventory.

"Many home owners still lack the equity or the liquidity to be able to put their home on the market," said John Shamshoian from Realty Concepts.

The inventory is down more than 50 percent in the past two years. But home construction is up. Residential sales are also changing. Those who can and are selling are mostly private owners. Since 2011 bank-owned properties, largely foreclosed homes went from 57 percent of sales down to 36 percent.

"We're finally coming out of it," said Lee Ann Eager, CEO of the Fresno EDC. "You know, it's been a tough road these last five years. Things are looking bright."

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