Housing Watch: Shortage of inventory still impacting Valley homebuyers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The lack of available housing in the Central Valley continues to make house hunting a difficult task.

Steve Flach is president of the Fresno Association of Realtors. He had hoped to see a larger inventory of homes this year.

"We haven't really seen that," he said. "Actually, the number of homes up for sale this past January was even lower than January of 2021. At the same time, demand is still high, so we've got a lot of buyers that are competing."

Homes in preferred neighborhoods continue to draw multiple offers with some buyers paying cash above the appraised value.

Scott Reba of Prosperity Home Mortgage says that makes it tough on first-time home buyers and many others in the market.

"Everyone in the industry today has borrowers that are getting offers rejected or losing out on bids and my advice is try not to get frustrated," he said.

The highly competitive market has many homeowners surprised to see how much their property value has increased over the past two years.

"We're not expecting it to continue," Flach said. "The last couple of years, we've seen right around 18% appreciation in the median sales price in Fresno County and I don't think that is sustainable. The experts are saying this year, statewide, we're expected to see appreciation of 5-6%."

But Flach expects to see the Valley appreciation rate go even higher - between 7% and 10% this year.

On average, a home on the market stays there for only 14 days.

"Median price throughout Fresno County, all residential properties, is selling at $380,000," Flach said.

Flach says that price is 36% higher than what we saw in January 2020 before the pandemic hit.

Flach adds a market is considered "healthy" when you have three to six months of housing inventory.

Right now, we have three weeks of inventory.
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