Local Business

Monday, Nov 05 2012 10:00 PM

Home prices rise as supply lags behind demand

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Bakersfield's single-family home prices rose in October as growing demand outpaced a modest increase in supply, according to a closely watched local report.

The number of active listings in the local market increased a little more than 4 percent to 604 between September and October, Bakersfield appraiser Gary Crabtree reported in his preliminary roundup of monthly housing data.

There were 1,079 active listings in October 2011. The 44 percent year-over-year inventory decline reflects what local Realtors see as a problematic shortage of product for sale -- a situation new homebuilders are working to fix.

Meanwhile, demand, as measured by the number of sales closed in October, jumped nearly 18 percent from September's total to 527, Crabtree's data indicate. That's about the same number of sales reported in October 2011.

The market's cumulative median price in October was $155,000, a 3.3 percent increase over the month before and a rise of nearly 16 percent from October 2011, Crabtree reported.

"The October market overall experienced some positive trends with a small increase in supply but far outweighed by the increase in demand," Crabtree wrote in a note accompanying the preliminary report.

New construction is taking place as a result, he added.

"Due to the lack of inventory," he wrote, "new construction has become a bright spot with permits on pace to equal 2009 after three years of dismal building activity."

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