By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Bakersfield home prices are on track to rise 18 percent this year -- an average increase of $30,000 per house -- according to a widely read monthly report released Thursday.
Local appraiser Gary Crabtree based his forecast on dual sets of data: one on the city's monthly price changes over the 12 months ending in January, the other on price changes over the previous two years.
His report said Bakersfield median home sale prices are on track to reach $195,000 or $196,000 by the end of this year, up from January's $164,490 median. (The median is the point at which half the homes sold for more money and half went for less.)
Between January 2012 and last month, he noted, the city's median sales price rose 26.5 percent.
"The forecast is a function (of) median price change ONLY," Crabtree wrote in an email. "It assumes that conditions in the past will remain the same into the future, thus it does not take into consideration other factors that may influence price such as interest rates, availability of credit, employment, job growth, inflation (including materials or labor costs) or population growth or loss."
He added that factors underlying the market's improvement are lack of supply, low interest rates, realistic loan underwriting and a declining inventory of distressed properties on the market.