Valley residents finding difficulty buying homes amid hot housing market

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno has been called the nation's hottest housing market by the Los Angeles Times.

That's a good thing for people selling their homes. But those of you looking to buy a house have found it to be very frustrating.

Once a home goes up for sale in the Valley, a bidding war has quickly knocked buyers from the front of the line.

Ken Garretson has been unsuccessfully house-hunting for two months.

Garretson said, "I am surprised but I attribute that to the fact that they're being sold as an auction item rather than a stable item which should have a fixed price on."

Daniel Gonzales was visiting from Pennsylvania and helping Ken buy a home.

He never thought it would be this difficult.

Gonzales explained, "Homes that were $330,000, next we find they were sold for $350,000."

Real estate broker Gary Carter shared many of his clients were often outbid by $10,000 or more.

Carter said, "It can be challenging and discouraging, Dale, because you're looking at homes day in and day out and you're not getting the home that you're putting offers in."

At a recent property showing, Carter was met by a long line.

He said, "There were 30 people waiting outside in line. You had to wait. It was like a line going into a fast-food restaurant."

A three-bedroom home we looked at near Cedar and Herndon in northeast Fresno was just under 1600 square feet.

Carter received 15 offers in four days. Some people hadn't even seen the property in person. The starting price was $319,000. Buyers were bidding close to $40,000 more for the home.

Gonzales said, "I don't know who's buying them and I can't figure out where they're getting their money from."

The Valley has long been a place where homebuyers can get more bang for their buck.

Carter said many people who started working from home during the pandemic were moving here from Southern California and the Bay Area.

He added, "Then we have, number two, individuals who have been at home with their parents for a while. Now's the time for them. They've saved enough money. Number three, we have the first-time home buyer."

You also had move-up buyers looking to buy a bigger home.

It all added up to an extremely competitive market.
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