Since the real estate market bottomed out eight to nine years ago, it has slowly been making its way back and now has become a seller’s market, but is also a good time to buy.
“It goes up in stair steps, rather than a bell curve” said Richard Knee, multiple listing service chair of the Kings County Board of Realtors.
To show the market turn around, Knee referenced one house in Hanford that has sold three times in nine years.
The house was built in 2004, and is a “bread and butter house,” he said, meaning it is in a good location, with three bedrooms and two baths in 1,400 square feet of living space.
At the market peak, in 2006, the house sold for $280,000, he said. It was foreclosed upon and sold in 2011 for $160,000.
The house is once again pending sale at the moment with a listing at $195,000, which is probably close to what it is selling for, he said.
This one house reflects where the market was just before it fell, where it fell to and how far it has come back into what is now a more stable environment.
Year-to-date, 953 single-family residences have been recorded in the multiple listing service for Kings County, Knee said. Of those, 485 have sold, 219 are in escrow and 249 are currently on the market.
“It is a very strong seller’s market,” he said.
Of the 485 homes that have sold, nearly 50 percent sold in the first 30 days of listing, and another 18 percent sold within 31-60 days of being on the market.
“This is another indication of a very strong seller’s market,” he said.
Most of the homes which sold quickly are in the lower-to-mid-market range, while higher priced homes are taking longer to sell.
But there are also still very good rates available, which makes it a good time for buyers and probably a good reason that the market is doing so well, Knee said.
“There is a pent-up-desire to own,” he said. “Everyone needs to own their own home.”
Kings County, and especially in and around Hanford, needs a higher inventory of homes available, he said. There is a need for new construction, he added.
Knee referenced one residential development in Hanford that has sold 10 new homes in the past month.
And, they are mid-to-high end homes. Quite a remarkable feat, he said.
Knee admits that he is not really sure just why the market is so good at this time.
“I see this stuff happening (around the world), what they are showing (on the news) and, to me, the world is unstable,” he said. “But yet, the US is doing very well.”
It is not only the housing market that has improved and is now doing well, so is the commercial market doing much better, said Mike Porte, SIOR, senior vice president of Newmark Grubb Pearson Financial in Visalia.
“Following the residential market, retail growth has taken place,” he said. “And as retail does better, then follows industrial.
“There is a lot of money on the sidelines and people are taking advantage of good buys, before it (the market) goes up.”
With more buildings being sold, some new development is starting to move forward in the area, with new pads being readied as potential building sites.
The price of rental spaces is also seeing an increase he said.
“There were a lot of office buildings sitting empty,” he said, “and now they aren’t.”
Similar to residential loan rates, there are still reasonable rates out there for investment property as well, Porte said.
For those thinking of selling, be it residential or commercial, it is a good time to sell, these realtors indicated. Properly priced properties, that are not too high, are selling quickly.
For those looking for their own home or investment property, it is also a good time to buy, with reasonable and low rates available.
“Real estate can be a premise vehicle to getting wealthy,” Knee said. “It doesn’t take a lot to get into your first home. Once it’s paid for, buy a second and rent the first one.”