A new real estate report from appraiser Gary Crabtree indicates the housing market is slowly stabilizing in Kern County.
And, the Anderson Forecast from UCLA says California home prices will almost recover by 2017.
But, how realistic are these numbers for our unique real estate market?
The median home price in Bakersfield is $132,000, slightly down from a year ago. Back during the bubble, the median was roughly double.
"The market is flat. It's very very stable," said Crabtree.
In Crabtree's latest report, home prices are similar to what we saw back in 2003. But, now we are seeing a housing market filled with foreclosures, with banks holding a lot of the inventory.
"So 40% of the homes that are being sold in the community are previous foreclosures by lenders. The national average is 30%," he said.
But, according to one area agent that is what's keeping the market flat and also producing numerous bids for homes already on the market.
"So even if there's 16 that hit the market, there's probably going to be ten buyers for every property. So until that inventory changes from the banks we are going to see a steady stable market," said Sam Abed, Executive Realtors.
From UCLA's Anderson Forecast, they have some surprising news.
In five years, home prices will climb 52%, near what they were during the bubble. That report covers the whole state, and Crabtree does not fully agree with those numbers for our area.
"That could be California as a whole, and therefore, a recovery is going to come in the major urban areas of San Francisco, L.A., San Diego. The Central Valley, however, was hardest hit and it will be the slowest to recover I think."
Abed thinks the key to steady market growth depends on banks flushing all the foreclosures through the market. "Once we control the inventory, once the banks completely clear the inventory, then we are going to steadily start increasing by 1%, 2%."
Crabtree's data shows the total supply of homes on the market is down 32% from last year.
The UCLA Forecast predicts home sales will fall next year by almost 1.5%.