Local experts say now is the best time to buy, sell houses

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- After years of working with animals as a vet tech, Roni Williams says she's loving her new career as a real estate agent, helping people buy and sell homes in Tulare and Fresno counties.

"So right now if your house is priced correctly, it will literally fly off the shelves," said Williams, who works with Modern Broker. "So if you are looking to sell your house, now is the perfect time to do it."

With historically low-interest rates, Williams says it's also an ideal time to buy a house.

And more homes continue to be built.

The latest figures from the city of Visalia show there's been a 50% increase in the number of multifamily building permits issued compared to this time last year.

There's also been a 31% increase in the number of single-family home permits, with 46 issued in July.

That's a good sign, according to the president of the Tulare County Association of Realtors Brian Gilbert.

"The more building permits you see means there's more confidence in building," Gilbert said. "Which means there's going to be more houses built. More people have money to buy the houses. The economy's good. The economy's going to be good in the future and we believe that we'll continue to grow in the Valley and Visalia."

But in recent weeks, talk of a possible recession has resurfaced.

In a new report by the National Association for Business Economics, the majority of economists surveyed say a recession will happen by 2021.

A majority also say the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has had a negative impact on housing over the past 18 months.

There's no sugarcoating it.

Gilbert says a recession would hit Tulare County's real estate market hard.

"The growth would slow, prices would drop, and inventories would stagnate," Gilbert said. "Whereas inventories now are only 60 days and houses are sold. And the average is six months. You get into a recession, you're looking at 10 months, 12 months, and it just stagnates and kills the industry."

But he hopes the economy stays strong, and the experts are wrong.

So the local real estate market continues to thrive.
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